New Delhi: As India celebrates its 71st Republic Day on Sunday, a multi-layered security cover has been put in place across the national capital to ensure smooth conduct of the ceremony. In the wake of the R-day celebrations, traffic and Delhi Metro services will also remain restricted for a specific duration.

The 90-minute parade will begin at 9 AM from Vijay Chowk. The ceremony will begin with unfurling of the National Flag and playing of national anthem with a 21-gun salute. The parade will be commanded by Parade Commander Lt General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff of Delhi Area, will be the second-in-command.

But before the celebrations, PM Modi will pay floral tribute to matryrs at the National War memorial. This is for the first time that the prime minister will pay homage to martyrs at the National War memorial instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti.

“Before the commencement of the parade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial,” an official statement said on Saturday.

The chief guest for this year’s Republic Day parade is Brazilian President JairBolsonaro. He was accorded ‘guard of honour’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday morning.

22 Tableaux on Republic Day:

Representing India’s rich cultural heritage and economic progress, the Republic Day parade will witness 22 Tableaux of various states, UTs and departments. Out of the total 22 tableaux, 16 will be of various states and UTs and six of ministries, departments and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Various schemes of the government including ‘Start-up India’, and ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ will also be showcased in six tableaux from different ministries and departments.

Many Firsts: 

For the first time, a contingent of women bikers of CRPF will perform daredevil stunts. The contingent will be led by Inspector Seema Nag who will be seen saluting while standing atop a moving motorcycle.

The grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past will comprise of the ‘Trishul’ formation by three advanced light helicopters.

It is for the first time that a ‘tri-service formation’ is taking part in the Republic Day Parade. It will be followed by the ‘Vic’ formation of Chinook helicopters, used for airlifting diverse loads to remote locations.

Apache helicopters, Dornier aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, an Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft and the ‘Globe’ formation comprising three C-17 Globemasters are also expected to enthral the people.

Five Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and five MiG-29 upgrade air superiority fighters in ‘Arrowhead’ formation will also display their aerial manoeuvre.

The parade will culminate at 11:30 AM with a fleet of Sukhoi-30 MKI jets splitting the sky with a breathtaking ‘Vertical Charlie’ aerobatic manoeuvre.

About Republic Day

India was an independent nation but it didn’t have a Constitution and hence couldn’t elect its leaders to run the country. So, the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950. The Constitution replaced the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. Since then, we celebrate Republic Day every year on January 26.

The Drafting Committee, with Dr BR Ambedkar as a chairman, was formed to draft a permanent Constitution. On November 4, 1947, the committee submitted its first draft. The Constitution was passed by the Constituent Assembly of India on November 26, 1949, but was finally adopted on January 26, 1950.