Independence Day Celebrations during Covid-19: What to look for this year?
India will be celebrating its 74th Independence Day on Aug 15, 2020, at Red Fort on Saturday, when the flag will be unfurled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will address the nation from the ramparts.
He will arrive at 0718 Hours in front of Lahore Gate of Red Fort, and he will be received by defence minister Rajnath Singh and the Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar.
After which PM Modi will be introduced to the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lieutenant Gen Vijay Kumar Mishra, by the defence secretary.
Followed by the GOC, Delhi Area conducting him to the Saluting Base.
A combined Inter-Services and Police Guards will present a general salute to the Prime Minister after which he will inspect the Guard of Honour.
There will be one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police in the Guard of Honour contingent. The Guard of Honour according to the Ministry of Defence will be positioned right in front of the National Flag across the moat below the ramparts.
What to look for this year?
The Indian Army is the coordinating Service. And the Guard of Honour will be commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gaurav S Yewalkar.
While Major Palvinder Grewal will be commanding the Army Contingent in the PM’s Guard, Lieutenant Commander K V R Reddy will lead the Navy contingent, the Air Force Contingent will be led by Squadron Leader Vikas Kumar and the Delhi Police contingent by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Jitender Kumar Meena.
He will then proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by the defence minister, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, and all the three service chiefs — Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria.
As per the protocol, the GoC Delhi area will conduct the PM Modi to the dais on the rampart for unfurling the National Flag.
The National Guard will give ‘Rashtriya Salute’ to the National Flag.
The National Anthem during unfurling of the National Flag and the ‘Rashtriya Salute’ will be played by the Army Grenadiers Regimental Centre Military Band, which will be commanded by Subedar Major Abdul Gani.
While all Service personnel in uniform will stand and salute, the rest will be requested to stand and give respect to the National Flag.
While unfurling the flag the PM will be assisted by Major Shweta Pandey of EME (505 Army Base Workshop) and 21 Gun Salute will be fired by the gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial).
The ceremonial battery is going to be commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jitendra Singh Mehta.
The Gun Position Officer will be Naib Subedar (AIG) Anil Chand.
The National Flag Guard
There will be 32 men and one officer each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. They will present Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag.
Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard will be commanded by Major Surya Prakash from the Army.
Lieutenant Commander Vivek Tingloo will command the Naval Contingent for the National Flag Guard and the Air Force contingent will be commanded by Squadron Leader Mayank Abhishek. The Delhi Police contingent will be led by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Sudhanshu Dhama.
According to the MoD, the Army Contingent for the National Flag has been drawn from the 5th Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles.
Once the speech of the PM is over, around 500 NCC Cadets will be singing the National Anthem; these cadets are from different wings including Army, Navy and Air Force and from different schools will be taking part.