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Prime Minister Narendra Modi constituted National Implementation Committee (NIC) under Chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in the country and abroad. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma are its Members.
Union Government has decided to commemorate 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak at national as well as international level. The yearlong celebration will include a number of commemorative as well as constructive activities will be taken up during the commemoration period.
Number of religious activities like kirtan, prabhat pheri, katha, langar and educational activities such as seminars, workshops, lectures etc. will be organised. Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee, which is the apex religious body of the Sikhs, will be knowledge partner for event.
Government will also develop Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab where Guru Nanak is believed to have spent most of his life. The area will be developed as heritage city incorporating ‘Pind Babe Nanak Da’. Moreover, high powered telescope will be installed on Indian side to view Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan where the first Sikh guru spent his last days.
Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Department of Posts will also release Commemorative coin and postage stamps to mark this event. Chairs in the name of Guru Nanak will be set up in UK and Canada. UNESCO will be requested to translate and publish anthology of Guru Nanak Dev’s writings in world languages and publication of Gurbani in different Indian languages will be made by National Book Trust (NBT).
The Maratha Light Infantry celebrated 250 years of its existence on 4 February 2018. The first battalion of regiment was raised as ‘Second Battalion Bombay Sepoys’ on this day in 1768.
Maratha Light Infantry Day
February 4 is celebrated as “Maratha Light Infantry Day” across the regiment throughout the country. The date holds historic significance as on this day in 1670, Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji conquered famous Kondana Fort (now known as Sinhgad) near Pune, Maharashtra.
Maratha Light Infantry
The Maratha Light Infantry is infantry regiment of the Indian Army. It was formed in 1768, making it most senior light infantry regiment of the Army. At present, it has around 21 regular battalions, four Rashtriya Rifles battalions, and two Territorial Army battalions. It is the only regiment which has contributed two battalions of special forces to Indian Army.
The regiment also has an affiliation with 10 Mechanised Infantry regiments, two artillery regiments and an air defence regiment in the Army. It also has inter-service affiliation with Indian Naval Ship (INS) Mumbai, 20th Squadron Air Force (Sukhoi) and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) air station in Daman and Diu.
Awards and Honours
The Maratha Light Infantry was bestowed with rare honour of winning two Victoria crosses to two of its soldiers- N.K. Yeshwant Ghadge and Sepoy Namdev Jadhav. It was also first infantry regiment of the Army to be awarded the title of ‘Light Infantry’ during the First Afghan War in 1841. It also has proud history of gallantry as it was honoured with 15 battle honours in the First World War.