Republic Day Parade Current Affairs

India plans to invite Leaders of ASEAN countries for 2018 Republic Day celebrations

India has planned to invite the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as Chief Guests for 2018 Republic Day celebrations. This Plan has come at a time when India is engaged in a stand-off with China in the Sikkim sector.

If invited Republic Day 2018 would be the first Republic Day event that will have so many leaders as the chief guests. In the recent past, world leaders like former US President Barack Obama, former French President François Hollande and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan have been invited as the chief guests for the Republic Day celebrations.

Background

India’s commitment to strengthen its ties with ASEAN countries is reflected by its ‘Look East Policy’ becoming ‘Act East Policy.’ At the India-ASEAN Summit held in Myanmar in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared that India’s ‘Look East Policy’ has become ‘Act East Policy.’

With respect to the focus areas of cooperation with ASEAN, the External Affairs Minister described them in terms of three Cs-Commerce, Connectivity and Culture.

This year also marks the 25 years of dialogue partnership between India and ASEAN, 15 years of summit-level interaction, and five years of strategic partnership. India and ASEAN had upgraded their relationship to a strategic partnership in 2012.

ASEAN

ASEAN consists of 10-member countries- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The founder members of the grouping were Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand. Later the group was expanded by adding the remaining members with Cambodia becoming the last entrant added to the group in 1999.

ASEAN came into existence on August 8, 1967, after ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok Declaration). It is a regional organisation that aims to promote intergovernmental cooperation and economic integration amongst its members.

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India celebrates 67th Republic Day

India celebrated 67th Republic day 26th January 2016 by displaying its cultural diversity, economic progress and military might were on display at Rajpath, New Delhi.

In the national Capital, President Pranab Mukherjee unfurled the national flag and took salute of the parade at Rajpath.

French President Francois Hollande was chief guest of Republic Day function. With this he beamce 5th highest dignitary from France to be Chief Guest of Indian Republic Day parade.

Key Highlights

  • The Parade was led by Lieutenant General Rajan Ravindran. In the parade, women empowerment was seen as women contingent of CRPF participated in the parade.
  • Apart from this, women officer’s contingents of Indian Nay, Air Force and Coast Guard also participated as 2nd in command.
  • For the first time in the history of Republic Day parade foreign contingent participated. It was 76-member contingent 35th Infantry Regiment of the French Army led by Lt Col Paul Bury.
  • During the parade, country’s diverse cultural and social traditions, military prowess and achievements in different fields were showcased.
  • Indian Army’s missile firing capability, Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II Sarath, T-90 Bhishma tank were also displayed.
  • Indian airforce also showed its might with C-17 Globemaster, 5 Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, 3 Sukhoi Su-30, 5 MiG 29 and other fighter choppers during fly.
  • Army’s dog squad from the Remount Veterinary Corps also took part in the parade after a gap of 26 years.
  • For the first time in the history of parade, the tableau of ex-servicemen of Army veterans was displayed in the parade.
  • The tableaux from 6 Central Ministries and 17 states and departments also displayed the varied historical, cultural and architectural heritage of the country.

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