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India Celebrates 73rd Republic Day, First Woman Rafale Fighter Jet Pilot Part of IAF Tableau

India is celebrating the 73rd Republic Day today as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commemorating 75 years of independence. The Republic Day parade this year is showcasing India’s military might, cultural diversity and many unique initiatives to mark the celebration of the 75th year of independence.

The grand Republic Day parade started at 10:30 am today amid foggy weather. As per tradition, the national flag was unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute, presented by Ceremonial Battery of 871 Field Regiment.

The celebrations commenced on January 23 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary, unveiled the hologram statue of the freedom fighter at India Gate in Delhi on Sunday.

As many as 75 aircraft of the Indian Air Force conducted a flypast showcasing India’s military prowess at the event. For the first time, the defence ministry presented videos from the cockpit as the helicopters and aircraft flew over Rajpath. The Centre also installed 10 large LED screens, five on each side of Rajpath, for spectators at the location. The guest list was cut short this year to ensure necessary Covid protocols.

The country’s first woman Rafale fighter jet pilot Shivangi Singh was part of the Indian Air Force tableau at the Republic Day parade on Wednesday. She is only the second woman fighter jet pilot to be part of the IAF tableau.

Last year, Flight Lieutenant Bhawna Kanth became the first female fighter jet pilot to be part of the IAF tableau.

Singh, who is from Varanasi, joined the IAF in 2017 and was commissioned in the IAF’s second batch of women fighter pilots. She had been flying MiG-21 Bison aircraft before flying the Rafale.

She is part of the IAF’s Golden Arrows squadron based out of Ambala in Punjab.

The grand parade of the Republic Day 2022 at Rajpath comes to an end with a splendid flypast of the Indian Armed forces. President Kovind leaves, Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves as he walks past the refurbished Rajpath.

On the eve of Republic Day celebrations, President Ram Nath Kovind approved awards of 384 gallantry and other defence decorations to armed forces personnel and others.

The Centre also announced the Padma awards on Tuesday. The President approved the conferment of 128 Padma awards this year, including two duo cases, in which the award is counted as one. The list comprises four Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri awards.

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