New Delhi: With French President Francois Hollande as the chief guest, India is all set to celebrate its 67th Republic Day on Tuesday.
During the ceremony, apart from India's military prowess and achievements in different fields, French soldiers would be one of the major attractions of this year's Republic Day parade.
For the first time in the history of Republic Day parades, a 76-member French Army contingent led by a French military band comprising 48 musicians, will march on Rajpath and present a ceremonial salute to the President of India.
India's state-of-the-art defence, diverse cultural and social traditions and the government's emphasis on self-reliance and indigenisation will also be showcased at the Rajpath on the country's 67th Republic Day tomorrow.
After a gap of 26 years, an Indian Army dog squad drawn from the Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) will also take part, along with their handlers.
Sticking to the 66-year-old tradition of the Republic Day celebrations, the colourful BSF Camel Regiment consisting of 56 camels led by Deputy Commandant Kuldeep J Choudhary will also march on the Rajpath.
For the first time, the parade will see an ex-servicemen tableau where Army veterans will showcase their role in nation building.
The Indian Army's missile firing capability T-90 "Bhishma" tank, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II (Sarath), Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Akash Weapon System, Smerch Launcher Vehicles and Integrated Communication Electronic Warfare System (ICEWS) will be the main draw in the mechanised columns.
An Indian Air Force tableau, with the theme "Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations by IAF: In Service of the Nation and Beyond" will showcase models of C-17 Globemaster, C-130 Hercules and MI-17V5 aircraft, emphasising its use in the Force's rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen and Nepal.
The Indian Navy's tableau will have the theme "Empowering India through Maritime security and Indigenisation" displaying flight deck operations on the new aircraft carrier "Vikrant", under construction at the Kochi Shipyard, and the indigenously constructed submarine "Kalvari" by Mazagaon Dock, Mumbai, having a "Made in India" tag on them.
The parade ceremony will commence at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the nation in paying homage to martyrs by laying a wreath.
As per tradition, after unfurling of the National Flag, the National Anthem will be played with a 21-gun salute. The parade will then commence and the President will take the salute.
The parade will be commanded by Lt General Rajan Ravindran, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area while Major General Rajesh Sahai, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command.
Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra awardees will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on jeeps.
The marching contingents of Army will include horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Parachute Regiment, the Corps of Signals, the Rajput Regiment, the Garhwal Rifles, the Assam Regiment, 11 Gorkha Rifles and Remount Veterinary Corps Dog Squad.
The marching contingent of Navy comprising 144 young sailors will be led by Lieutenant Commander Anil Raina, while the Indian Air Force contingent comprising 144 men will be led by Flt Lt Ashish Mann.
The Paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces will include contingents from the Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Indian Coast Guard, an all women contingent of Central Reserve Police Force, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme.
Tableaux from 17 states and 6 Central Ministries and departments will present the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country.
They will also showcase country's progress in different fields, particularly floats from Goa, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam.
Similarly floats of Ministry of Communication and IT based on "Digital India", the Ministry of Panchayat Raj float on "Empowered Women and empowered Panchayat Raj and Society" and float of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on "Swachh Bharat Mission" will showcase the rapid development of some of the flagship programmes of the government.
Twenty three of the twenty five children selected for the National Bravery Award?2015 will also participate in the parade. Two children have got the award posthumously.
In the children's pageant section, about 500 boys and girls drawn from five schools in Delhi and a group of school children from South Central Zone Cultural Centre will perform colourful dances on Rajpath.
"Dare Devils" - the motorcycle display team of Corps of Signals will be a major attraction of the parade. They will perform different stunts like 'Salute to President', 'Signal Rocket', 'Signal Fighter', 'Abhimanyu', 'Shradhanjali', 'Commando', 'Lotus formation', and 'Human Pyramid', etc on moving motor cycles.
The grand finale of the parade will be a spectacular flypast by the IAF. The flypast will commence with the 'Chakra' formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in 'Vic' formation, followed by the 'Hercules' formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in 'Vic' formation.
Trailing them will be the 'Globe formation' comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s followed by five Jaguars in Arrowhead formation, and another five MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters called the 'Tridents' will fly in fulcrum style.
The flypast will conclude with another Su-30 MKI carrying out a 'Vertical Charlie' manoeuvre over the saluting dais. The ceremony will culminate with the National Anthem and release of balloons.
(With PTI inputs)