From INA Veterans to women leading contingent this year's Republic Day is set to witness many first. This time an aircraft AN32 will fly on biofuel. Our correspondent Sidhant Sibal spoke to Major General Rajpal Punia, Chief of Staff, HQ Delhi Area and Deputy Parade Commander, Republic day on what is special about this year's Republic Day parade.
Sidhant Sibal: What will be the focus this time?
Maj Gen Rajpal Punia: Well, this time for the first time Indian national army soldier will be participating in the parade. besides this we have all women contingent were in all the participants in the contingent will be women-- it is Assam Rifle contingent that will be participating. We have 4 contingent commanders who are lady officers. It will also happen for the 1st time. Because individually lady officers have commanded contingent but not in such large number. We have Make-in-India equipment K9 vajra. It is going to be pride for the nation. Also, we will be using biofuel Jatropha fuel made in India and aircraft will be flying on it for the first time.
Sidhant Sibal: How much focus will be on women power?
Maj Gen Rajpal Punia: I agree. No doubt. Women power is very powerful. This time we have a very large number of women participating including in motorcycle display. There is a lady officer who is commanding motorcycle display. We have all women continent. Women power this time its maximum than in previous years.
Sidhant Sibal: Use of biofuel-- Jatropha, can u explain more?
Maj Gen Rajpal Punia: Its a plant. We trying to extract oil for a number of years from it. We even thinking that it will be replacing oil in the coming years. Jatropha oil being used by AN 32 to fly. You can imagine, if an aircraft can fly, then for the country its a self-sufficiency.
Sidhant Sibal: Indian National Army (INA) veterans are also taking part this time?
Maj Gen Rajpal Punia: 4 INA soldiers who are participating. These people are-- Lalti Ram, 98 years old living in Panchkula, Hira Singh, 97, living in Narnaul, Bhagmal, 100 years living in Manesar and Parmanand Yadav, 95 from Chandigarh. Its a matter of honour. Its a great honour for the country that we have veterans of INA participating.