It’s another proud day for India as the nation on Wednesday is celebrating the 62nd Republic Day on January 26, 2011.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Service Chiefs and Defence Minister A K Antony first paid tributes to the immortal soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in New Delhi.
Singh and Antony then headed for Rajpath. Pesident Pratibha Patil also arrived there with the Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and the Chief Guest Indonesian President Dr Haji Yudhoyono.
President Pratibha Patil hoisted the Indian flag and took the salute of marching contingents.
President also presented the Ashok Chakra posthumously to Major Laishram Jyoti Singh, who died fighting a suicide attacker during an attack on the Indian High Commission at Kabul.
The parade has begin.
The Army will display its T-90 main battle tanks (MBT), the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) ”Dhruv”.
Besides BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, army contingent would also feature PMS bridging columns used by the troops to make temporary bridges.
The army contingent would be followed by the tableaux from Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
The Navy will showcase the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, while the Indian Air Force”s marching contingent would be followed by the tableaux of Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) and Aerostat Radar.
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will showcase the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas” trainer version in its tableaux. It would also present the Soldier Support Systems and one of its radars.
From air force, a total of 28 aircraft and helicopter would enthrall the audience with their fly-past and other airborne manoeuvres.
The parade would be followed by the marching units of central para-military forces like Border Security Force (BSF), Assam Rifles (AR), Indian Coast Guards (ICG), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Delhi Police.
The march past would culminate with National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS) cadets marching down the Rajpath.
This year, the number of tableaux have been increased to 23 from last year”s 21, while the number of cultural programmes has remained the same with five different activities.
The motorcycle display team at the end of the parade would consist men from Signal regiment of the Indian Army.
The parade is expected to continue till 11.30 am.
Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been made in New Delhi in the wake of terror threats.
Around 35,000 police personnel have been deployed across the city.
UAVs of the Air Force are being deployed for surveillance besides the usual deployment of helicopters.
Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters of the NSG are also on the job at various places.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has invited BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar for Republic Day celebrations at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar.
The Chief Minister also ordered the release of all BJP workers who had courted arrest as well as the BJP MLAs detained on Tuesday.