The Republic Day parade at Rajpath is one of the most remarkable highlights of 26 January every year. This year too, we will witness the best of India's military and cultural strengths.
This will be a parade of many firsts in the history of the Indian Republic Day.
1. Lieuenant Bhavana Kasturi will create history by becoming the first woman army officer to lead an all-men contingent.
According to reports, she cleared a tough selection procedure and got a chance to lead a contingent of 144 men. Talking to TOI, Bhavana gave a message to girls. She said:
"I want to tell young girls of the country that ‘chase your dreams and never give up and you'll reach great heights'."
2. For the first time in Indian history, an all-women contingent of the Assam Rifles will march at the Republic Day parade.
Assam Rifles is one of the country’s oldest Paramilitary Force in India. The all-women wing of the Assam Rifles came into being in 2015 when 100 women soldiers were formally inducted into the paramilitary force.
The contingent will be led by Major Khushboo Kanwar. Speaking to PTI, she said:
"Leading an all-women contingent of the Assam Rifles is matter of great honour and pride for me. I am the daughter of a bus conductor from Rajasthan and if I can accomplish this, the any girl can fulfill her dream."
The Journey to Rajpath wasn't easy WE left our homes, And adorned the uniforms WE picked up our rifles And trained hard 2 years ago, WE were new recruits and now WE - THE ALL WOMEN MARCHING CONTINGENT the Assam Rifles gear up to create history 26 Jan 2019, be there to be a part of OUR HISTORY.. ⚔️🇮🇳❤️
3. Captain Shikha Surabhi will be the first and only woman officer in the Indian Army's Motorcycle Daredevils Squad.
Captain Shikha will be at the forefront of a team comprising 33 men riding on 9 bikes in a pyramid formation and give a standing salute on bike.
Talking to NDTV, she said:
"I am the first woman to be part of daredevils segment of the parade. It took a lot of practice to perfect the stunts. But I am proud of this accomplishment. Women can do anything. I will perform a standing salute on a bike."
4. For the first time, facial recognition cameras will be used on Republic Day to track terrorists.
According to reports, 30 cameras have been installed on 30 entry gates. If anyone’s face matches with the photos in the data bank, alarms will ring in the nearby control room and the security personnel will be able to catch the person immediately.
5. For the first time, four freedom fighters of the Indian National Army, aged over 90 years will also participate in the parade.
Four of them will get a place of pride in a jeep immediately after Param Vir Chakra awardees.
For the first time since India becoming a Republic, brave freedom fighters of the Indian National Army (#INA) will be on #Rajpath this 70th #RepublicDay. The brave hearts of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose finally get their due. 4 INA veterans are in their 90s. Decision by @PMOIndia— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) January 23, 2019
6. 'Shankhanad', an indigenous martial tune will be played on the Rajpath for the first time.
The tune was accepted as official martial tune in December 2017. It was played by 14 military bands together for the first time during the Army day parade held on January 15, 2019.
7. Niharika Bhatt, ASP, Chandigarh Police, will be the first woman IPS officer to lead the Chandigarh Police contingent.
Talking to Indian Express, she said:
"My seniors asked me to lead the parade and I said yes. It is an honour to lead the contingent. I am happy that the responsibility was bestowed on me and am excited about it."
8. For the first time, Indian Army will showcase its new artillery guns at the parade 30 years after the induction of Bofors guns.
The artillery gun system M777 American Ultra Light Howitzers, recently acquired from the US and K9 Vajra, a self-propelled artillery gun will be the highlight of this display. Vajra is a symbol of the Make in India initiative.
9. During the flypast, IAF’s AN-32 aircraft will be flying on biofuel for the first time.
10. Two defence projects of DRDO which are still under trial will also be displayed at the parade for the first time.
Medium Range Surface to Air Missile and Arjun Armoured Recovery and Repair Vehicle are the two DRDO projects that will be showcased in the parade.