New Delhi [India], January 23 (ANI): In the 75th year of Independence, the Republic Day parade would showcase the old and the new era of the Indian Army in terms of uniforms and weapons used while the Beating Retreat ceremony would see the inclusion of a laser mapping and drone show.
In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the number of troops in marching contingents in the Republic Day parade has been reduced from 144 to 96, said Major General Alok Kakkar on Sunday.
During a press conference in Delhi, the officer who is the Chief of Staff of Delhi Area and would be the second-in-command of the parade said that in order to be able to follow COVID norms, the number of troops in marching contingents in the parade has been reduced from 144 earlier to 96. They will be seen marching in 12 rows and eight columns, he added.
Some other changes in the parade include shortening of the parade for the marching contingents to National Stadium which earlier used to conclude at Red Fort.
"The Republic Day parade which starts from Raisina Hills and goes through Rajpath, India Gate till Red Fort would now only go up to the National Stadium in view of COVID-19 this time. Only tableaux will to up till Red Fort," he said.
This year, the Republic Day parade will not start at the scheduled time of 10 am but with a 30-minute delay.
"The parade will commence at 10.30 am instead," the Major Gen said.
"There will be 8 contingents of the Indian Armed Forces in the Republic Day Parade, which will include 6 contingents of Army, one each from Air Force and the Navy. The Parachute regiment contingent will wear the new combat uniform with the latest Tavor rifles," he added.
Major Vishesh, Contingent Commander of the Parachute Regiment has said, "Donning the new combat uniform at the Republic Day Parade will be a very proud moment for the elite force Parachute Regiment."
Lt Manisha Bohra, Army Ordnance Corps Contingent Commander said, "It is a matter of great honour for all of us to take part in the Republic Day parade and all of us have been practising very hard for it."
The Major Gen, during the virtual press conference, also said that a "unique" mix of vintage and new equipment will be seen in the mechanised column.
"In the front, in the armour column, you will see PT-76 and Centurion tanks will be shown which took part in 1965 and 1971 wars. This will be followed by main battle tank Arjun," he said.
"Total 16 marching contingents would be there. Of these, eight will be of Indian Armed Forces, four of central Armed Police Force, two of NCC and one each of Delhi Police and NSS," he added.
Major Gen Kakkar said that a total of 21 tableaus will be shown in the parade.
There will be two motor-cycle formations. The women's team will be of BSF and men's team will be of ITBP.
"75 aircraft of the Indian Air Force in 15 formations will do a flypast," the Major Gen said.
Two new things will be seen in the Beating Retreat ceremony that is held at Vijay Chowk, Delhi.
The Major Gen said that after the ceremony concludes, a projection mapping with laser would be done on the wall of the North and South block. It will be followed by a drone show in which 1,000 drones will take part.
The officer refused to comment on the selection of the new song Aey Mere Watan ke Logon and dropping off the Christian hymn Abide with Me from the beating retreat ceremony. (ANI)