In light of the ongoing third wave of COVID-19, the annual Republic Day Parade, held on 26 January in the national capital, will be a relatively muted affair, with COVID-appropriate changes and health protocols in place for a curtailed guest list.
The parade, which will be held on the new, developing Central Vista for the first time, will begin at 10:30 am instead of 10 am in view of decreased visibility in the midst of winter, NDTV reported.
As per the Defence Ministry, the following changes will be made during the Republic Day event:
Last week, the ministry had planned to accommodate 24,000 people, however the final guest list reportedly includes 5,000 to 8,000 guests, The Indian Express reported.
The daily reported further that the event will be in a hybrid format, with access to the celebrations being made available online.
COVID-19 protocols, such as thermal screening, wearing of face masks, social distancing, and sanitisation measures will be followed. Health personnel will be stationed at the event.
At the time of entry, attendees will reportedly have to carry their double vaccination certificates.
Ten huge LED screens, screening the live event for the audience, will be put up on the Rajpath, The Indian Express reported.
No foreign dignitary will likely be present for the event, the second in a row, in view of the health emergency, NDTV reported.
Further, several seats during the parade will be allotted for workers such as auto-rickshaw drivers, construction and sanitation workers, frontline health workers etc.
As per an official, the following states and Union territories have been selected for displaying their tableaux: Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
Nine Union ministries, including the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Department of Post in the ministry of Communication, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Textiles, Department of Justice from the Ministry of Law and Justice; Ministry of Jal Shakti and Ministry of Culture will also have their tableaux, the Indian Express reported.
On 29 January, the Annual Beating Retreat ceremony will have a show of nearly 1,000 drones by a IIT-Delhi-based startup to commemorate 75 years of country's independence, ANI quoted a defence official.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Indian Express.)