The Republic Day Parade 2022 showcased India’s military might and cultural diversity in a grand parade at Rajpath. Ashish Bhatia brings you key displays at the parade.

The Republic Day Parade 2022 set out to showcase India’s military might and cultural diversity in a grand parade at Rajpath as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The day began with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting the nation in a Tweet. The Prime Minister along with the Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh made their way to the Amar Javan Jyoti at the National War Memorial to pay their homage to the martyrs.

President Ram Nath Kovind lead the celebrations this year, a special year as the Republic Day falls in the 75th year of Independence, being celebrated as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ across the country. To mark the occasion, the Ministry of Defence conceptualised a series of new events during the main parade on Rajpath on 26 January and ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony at Vijay Chowk on 29 January. It has been decided that the Republic Day celebrations will now be week-long from January 23-30 every year. The
celebrations commenced on January 23rd, the birth anniversary of great freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and culminate on January 30, observed as Martyrs’ Day.

Many unique initiatives
Several firsts planned during the main parade include the launch of a drone show by 1,000
indigenously developed drones planned for ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony, along with projection mapping.

Special spectators
Special arrangements were made this year to give opportunity to the lesser priveleged segments of society which usually do not get to watch the parade. Auto-rickshaw drivers, construction workers, safai karamcharis and frontline health workers were invited to watch the Republic Day Parade as well as the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony.

The Parade

As per tradition, the National Flag was unfurled followed by the National Anthem
with a booming 21-gun salute. The parade commenced with President Ram
Nath Kovind taking the salute. The parade was commanded by Parade Commander,
Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva Medal, a second-generation
Army officer. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area was the Parade

The proud winners of the highest gallantry awards followed. They included the
winners of Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra. Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar
Major (Honorary Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers (Retd) and Subedar
(Honorary Lieutenant) Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winner Colonel D
Sreeram Kumar will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps. The Param Vir
Chakra is awarded for the most conspicuous act of bravery and self-sacrifice in the face
of the enemy. The Ashok Chakra is awarded for similar acts of valour and self-sacrifice
but, other than, in the face of the enemy.

Indian Army Contingents

The first contingent in the Indian Army was represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, 14 mechanised columns, six marching contingents and a fly past by Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of Army Aviation. One Tank PT-76 & Centurion (On Tank Transporters) & two MBT Arjun MK-I, one APC TOPAS & BMP-I (On Tank Transporter).

There were two BMP-II, one 75/24 Towed Gun (On Vehicle) & two Dhanush Gun System, one PMS Bridge & Two Sarvatra Bridge System, one HT-16 (On Vehicle) & two Tarang Shakti
Electronic Warfare System, one Tiger Cat Missile & two Akash Missile System as the
the main attraction in the mechanised columns.

A total of six marching contingents of the Army made their presence felt including the Rajput
Regiment, the Assam Regiment, the Jammu & Kashmir Light Regiment, the Sikh Light
Regiment, the Army Ordnance Corps and the Parachute Regiment. The combined Band
of the Madras Regimental Centre, the Kumoun Regimental Centre, Maratha Light
Regimental Centre, Jammu & Kashmir Light Regimental Centre, Army Medical Corps
Centre and School, 14 Gorkha Training Centre, Army Supply Corps Centre and College,
Bihar Regimental Centre and Army Ordnance Corps Centre that also marched past the
saluting dais.

Past to Present: Soldiers’ Uniform and weapons showcased evolution
The theme of the marching contingents was the display of the evolution of uniform
and personnel weapon of Indian Army over last 75 years. The contingent of the Rajput
Regiment wore the uniform of Indian Army of 1947, carrying
.303 Rifle.

The Assam Regiment wore the uniform during the period of the 1962 and
carrying .303 Rifles. The Jammu & Kashmir Light Regiment wore the uniform worn
during 1971 and carried the 7.62mm self loading Rifle. The contingent of the Sikh Light
Regiment and the Army Ordnance Corps were in the present day uniform with
5.56mm INSAS Rifle. The contingent of the Parachute Regiment donned the
new Combat Uniform of Indian Army, unveiling on January 15, 2022 and carried 5.56mm x 45mm TAVOR Rifle.

DRDO Tableaux
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) displayed two tableaux,
signifying the defence technological advancements of country. The tableaux were titled ‘Suite of Indigenously Developed Sensors, Weapons and Electronic Warfare Systems for
LCA Tejas’ and ‘Air Independent Propulsion System’ developed for the submarines of
Indian Navy.

The first tableau displayed an indigenously-developed Advanced Electronically Scanned Array Radar; five different aerial launched weapons and an Electronic Warfare Jammer to further enhance the capabilities of fourth generation LCA (Light
Combat Aircraft) Tejas. The second tableau showcased indigenously-developed AIP
System for propelling the Indian Naval submarines underwater. The AIP System is
powered by indigenously-developed fuel cells with a novel onboard hydrogen

Drone Show
A novel ‘Drone Show’ has been conceptualised, designed, produced and choreographed
within the country. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has been organised by a startup
‘Botlab Dynamics’, supported by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and
Department of Science & Technology. The show would be of 10 minutes duration
involving around 1,000 drones fabricated through indigenous technology. Synchronised
background music will also be played during the drone show.

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