Five things you should know about 72nd Republic Day: In pics
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, no foreign guest will be present at the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2021, something that has been one of the highlights of the annual event celebrating the country's diversity at the heart of Delhi.
This is the fourth time in history that no foreign guest will be present at the Republic Day. The last time it had happened was in 1966, and before that in 1953 and 1952.
India had extended an invite to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be the guest at the Republic Day who had accepted and confirmed that he will be coming. But in January first week 2021, he had informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his inability to come due to the new strain of COVID-19 virus that had emerged in the United Kingdom.
This year, the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos have decided to make changes for the Republic Day parade as per the COVID-19 health protocols.
The NSG commandos will be marching with a distance of more than 1.5 metres from each other, while, earlier, they used to march down Rajpath from shoulder to shoulder.
The 72nd Republic Day Parade celebrations will feature 321 school children and 80 folk artists in the cultural programme. School children from four Delhi schools and folk artists from East Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata will participate in the cultural programme during the Republic Day Parade.
The Ministry of Defence and Directorate of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi have selected 401 students and artists - 271 girls and 131 boys – from DTEA Senior Secondary Schools, Delhi; Mount Abu Public School, Rohini, Delhi; Vidya Bharti School, Rohini, Delhi; Government Girls Senior Secondary School, B-2, Yamuna Vihar, Delhi and Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata, according to Ministry of Defence statement.
This year, there will be no joint or coordinated parade at the Attari border on Republic Day. Moreover, no public will be allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions at the Attari border.
Earlier, Pakistan and India used to do a joint parade, which spectators used to watch from both the side.
Notably, since March 2020, the general public has not been allowed at the Attari border due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Although, not related to COVID-19 outbreak, but this year's Republic Day Parade is also likely to witness a tractor rally by the farmers who are protesting against the new farm laws. As per reports, over 5000 farmers are likely to enter Delhi during that time.
Notably, the farmers are agitating at the borders of the national capital since late November 2020.