WION Web TeamNew Delhi, Delhi, IndiaJan 25, 2018, 11.07 AM
The national capital is gearing up for the 69th Republic Day which is all set to be celebrated in grandeur at India Gate, like each year, with the highlight of the day being the parade.
This year, the Republic Day celebrations will have 10 top leaders of ASEAN countries as chief guests - Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei.
Marching contingent of the India Navy during the Republic Day parade rehearsal at Rajpath. (PTI)
For the first time, the parade will showcase over 700 participants across the guest countries along with participants from the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy.
In another first, a newly-formed all-woman bikers contingent of the Border Security Force (BSF) will make its debut on Rajpath. The 27-member BSF women 'daredevils' squad, named 'Seema Bhavani', will showcase their stunts and acrobatics on their 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycles.
The government's research institute ICAR will, for the first time, participate in the Republic Day parade with its tableau showcasing integrated farming as key for doubling farmers' income.
As part of the celebrations, a scintillating flypast and air display by various aircraft will be the hallmark of the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath.
A total of 795 Police personnel have been awarded Medals on the occasion of the Republic Day this year. Police Medals for Gallantry (PMG) have been awarded to 107 personnel, President's Police Medals for Distinguished Service to 75 personnel and Police Medal for Meritorious Service to 613 personnel.
ITBP soldiers march during rehearsals ahead of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)
Additionally, eighteen children, including seven girls have been selected for the National Bravery Awards 2017. Three of the bravehearts are being awarded posthumously. They would participate in the Republic Day Parade 2018 at the Rajpath, where they would be one of the main attractions of the event.
Also, as part of the Republic Day celebrations, the Government of India is organising ‘Bharat Parv’ event at the Red Fort in Delhi, starting from 26 January to 31 January 2018.
The objective of the event will be to “generate a patriotic mood, promote the rich cultural diversity of the country and to ensure wider participation of the general public.”
The event will be open to all and entry will be free. However, visitors will have to carry identity for security check. The government has designated the Ministry of Tourism as the nodal Ministry for the event.
Some of the highlights of the event are Display of Republic Day Parade Tableaux, performances by Armed Forces Bands, a multi-cuisine food court, craft mela, cultural performances from different regions of the country and photo exhibition by the directorate of advertising and visual publicity.
The national capital has been brought under a ground-to-air security cover in view of the Republic Day celebrations and the visit of 10 ASEAN leaders for a high-profile summit here, a senior police official said.
Thousands of armed personnel have been keeping a tight vigil for Republic Day in Delhi and in border areas of the city to ensure a smooth passage of the celebrations tomorrow.
The entire central and New Delhi region will have nearly 50,000 security personnel drawn from the Delhi Police and the central security forces. Several security layers have been put in place and Delhi Police personnel along with paramilitary and NSG commandos have been deployed.