Women's Contingent, Agniveers - Many Republic Day Firsts: 10 Points
Republic Day Celebrations at Kartavya Path: Egyptian Armed Forces Combined Band and Marching Band performed in the first parade.
The 74th Republic Day parade in Delhi was held for the first time today on Kartavya Path, the revamped British-era ceremonial boulevard formerly known as Rajpath. This year's chief guest was Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Here is your 10-point map for Republic Day celebrations:
1. President Droupadi Murmu, who arrived at the venue with Chief Guest Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, flagged off the Republic Day parade from Kartavya Path. The spectacular parade was a mix of the country's military might and cultural diversity. Earlier, Prime Minister Modi along with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and three service chiefs paid tributes at the National War Memorial.
2. The parade began with the march of the Egyptian Armed Forces, consisting of 144 soldiers representing the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
3. Central Reserve Police Women's Corps was one of the highlights of this year. Many other marching forces, including the Marines, had women. A Navy unit headed by a woman officer had 3 women and 6 Agniveers - soldiers in the first batch of the new military recruitment scheme.
4. There were no Russian tanks this time with the motto Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) of the weapon systems on display. The Indian-made Arjun and other Indian-made systems, including the Akash missile system, were on display.
5. Greeting the people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that this time is special because it is celebrated during Amrit Mahotsav, the country's Independence Day. "I hope we will move forward together to fulfill the dreams of the country's great freedom fighters. Happy Republic Day to all Indians!"
6.23 plaques, 17 from states and federations and 6 from various ministries, presented India's cultural heritage, economic development and national security.
7. Cultural performances were performed by 479 artists selected through the Vande Bharatam national dance competition. The dancers will be selected for the second time through a nationwide competition.
8.The perennial draw of motorcycle display by the Corps of Signals' Dare Devils team thrilled the audience with several formations, including a yoga display. Eleven children who received the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar for outstanding achievement in the fields of bravery, art and culture, sports, innovation and social service were also part of the parade.
9. The grand finale was the long-awaited flyby involving aircraft from three squadrons. The 45-aircraft air show included vintage aircraft to the more modern aircraft of the Indian Air Force. However, the fog meant that the planes were not as clearly visible as many would have hoped. The country's new Rafale fighter jet has conducted its final Vertical Charlie operation. While the Rafale has participated in the parade for the last two years, a quarter of the fleet - nine aircraft - participated in the flyover for the first time.
10. This year, invitations were sent to Keski-Vista, Kartavya Polu, people engaged in the construction of the New Parliament House, milk, vegetable and street vendors, who were given a prominent place in the galleries.