News: India celebrated its 73rd Republic Day across the country on Wednesday with the annual parade held at Rajpath here showcasing the nation’s cultural diversity and military might with a series of tableaux and cultural performances.
For the second consecutive year, the celebrations were held without a chief guest due to the pandemic, which has seen a surge in cases of the Omicron variant.
This year’s parade witnessed a half-hour delay to ensure better visibility, while the biggest fly-past comprising 75 aircraft was a scene to witness for the spectators. Only those who are fully vaccinated were allowed in limited numbers due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place. Compared to a turnout of nearly 25,000 spectators witnessed last year, around 6,000 people attended this year’s event due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the armed personnel who lost their lives, at the National War Memorial, following which the celebrations kicked-off with the unfurling of the national flag and by a 21-gun salute.
The number of tableaux at this year’s event had been reduced to 21 with States including the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Uttarakhand featuring 12 while nine were featured by Ministries and Departments including the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Like every year, the tableaux of the Navy and the Air Force were also showcased.
Last year’s celebrations witnessed 32 tableaux with 17 featured by Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, that were left out of this year’s event, raising strong opposition from State leaders.
Rajpath (formerly known as Kingsway) is a ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi, India, that runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate, National War Memorial to National Stadium, Delhi.
The avenue is lined on both sides by huge lawns, canals and rows of trees.
Considered to be one of the most important roads in India, it is where the annual Republic Day parade takes place on 26 January.
Janpath (meaning “People’s Way”) crosses the road. Rajpath runs in east-west direction.
Roads from Connaught Place, the financial centre of Delhi, run into Rajpath from north.
After climbing Raisina Hill, Rajpath is flanked by the North and South Blocks of the Secretariat Building.
Finally it ends at the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
At Vijay Chowk it crosses Sansad Marg, and the Parliament House of India can be seen to the right when coming from the India Gate.
2. INDIA POST SHOWCASES WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
News: At the Republic Day parade on Wednesday, India Post showcased its service to the nation, with a focus on women empowerment, through its uniquely designed thematic tableau.
About women empowerment:
Women’s empowerment (or female empowerment) may be defined in several ways, including accepting women’s viewpoints or making an effort to seek them, raising the status of women through education, awareness, literacy, and training.
Women’s empowerment equips and allows women to make life-determining decisions through the different problems in society.
They may have the opportunity to redefine gender roles or other such roles, which in turn may allow them more freedom to pursue desired goals.
Women’s empowerment has become a significant topic of discussion in development and economics.
Economic empowerment allows women to control and benefit from resources, assets, and income.
It also aids the ability to manage risk and improve women’s well-being.
It can result in approaches to support trivialized genders in a particular political or social context.
While often interchangeably used, the more comprehensive concept of gender empowerment concerns people of any gender, stressing the distinction between biological and gender as a role.
3. INDIA SLAMS PAKISTAN AT UN SECURITY COUNCIL
News: Perpetrators of the heinous 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks continue to enjoy Pakistan’s patronage, India has told the UN Security Council, saying that most terrorist attacks around the world have their origin, in some form or the other, in that country.
India hit back at Pakistan after Islamabad’s envoy to the UN Munir Akram brought up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir during an UNSC Open Debate on ‘Protection of civilians in armed conflict: Wars in cities – protection of civilians in urban settings’.
“Member States are well aware that Pakistan has an established history of harbouring, aiding and actively supporting terrorists. This is a country which has been globally recognised as a sponsor of terrorism,”.
4. PM TO HOLD CENTRAL ASIA SUMMIT TODAY
News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold the first India-Central Asia summit on Thursday, in a videoconference with five Presidents from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Government officials said the major areas of focus for the conference would be trade and connectivity, building development partnerships and enhancing cultural and people-to-people contacts, but it is clear that a number of global and regional developments will also form a large part of the discussions, set to begin around 4.30 p.m IST.
During the conference, the countries are expected to propose ways to increase trade between India and the region, which is only about $2 billion at present, most of which comes from energy imports from Kazakhstan. India extended a $1 billion Line of Credit (LOC) for development projects in the areas of energy, healthcare, connectivity, IT, and agriculture in 2020 and proposes to increase the number of educational opportunities for students from Central Asian countries.
In addition, India hopes to build on its trilateral working group on Chabahar with Iran and Uzbekistan to strengthen connectivity to the region.
Meanwhile, other developments like the COVID-19 are expected to be discussed, and in particular rebuilding economies affected by pandemic.
This has also been a major subject for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) where India and the Central Asian countries are members along with Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan.
The five leaders including Kazakhstan’s Kassym-Jomart Tokayev,Kyrgyzstan’s Sadyr Japarov, Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon, Turkmenistan’s Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Uzbekistan’s Shavkat Mirziyoyev were due to be chief guests at the Republic Day parade in Delhi on Wednesday, but their visits were cancelled due to the current wave of coronavirus cases in India.