NEW DELHI: Republic Day parade 2022 will see a substantial cut in sitting capacity. In another major development, it is learnt that from this year, R-Day celebrations will start on January 23 — birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (125th year this time). It will end on January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.
Sources in the Union Ministry of Defence said, “This year, the parade will commence at 10.30 am instead of 10 am so that visibility for the fly-past improves by the time the parade ends.” The number of seats will be majorly curtailed, to 5,000-8000, from 25,000 of last year.
“Special care is taken to invite people who don’t get the opportunity to witness the parade. This includes auto-rickshaw drivers, safai karmacharis, frontline workers, among others,” sources said. “Rest of the celebrations like the PM’s NCC rally on January 28 and Beating Retreat on January 29 will be as usual.”
The fly-past this year, as reported earlier in The Morning Standard, will include 75 aircraft including fighters, transport planes and helicopters.
On January 23, a special programme will be held at India Gate where the Prime Minister will honour the winners of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Apada Prabandhan Award. Instituted in 2018 to recognise the contributions in the area of disaster management, this award is conferred on individuals (`5 lakh) and institutions (`51 lakh) with a certificate.
On Republic Day, when the Prime Minister will pay floral tributes to martyrs at the National War Memorial, a contingent of NCC cadets will visit families of the martyrs across the country. As of now, a total of 5,000 martyrs have been identified.
The tableaux display will have representations from 12 states and nine ministries and government departments. The states are as follows: Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The nine ministries and departments include Education and Skill Development (joint), Civil Aviation, Housing and Urban Affairs, Textiles, Law and Justice, Jal Shakti and Culture.
Another special display is scheduled for the Beating Retreat on January 29, when a start-up from IIT Delhi will do a drone show themed on 75 years of the Independence. This has been conceptualised, designed and developed by a start-up company called Botlab, incubated in IIT Delhi, making India only the fourth nation to put up a display of such scale. Russia, US and China have done it before.