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Overview of 72nd Republic Day of India – 26 January, 2021

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72nd Republic DayOn January 26, 2021 India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day. On this date, in 1950 the Constitution of India came into effect by replacing the Government of India Act (1935).

  • The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November, 1949 and came into effect on 26th January, 1950 making India a fully democratic republic.
  • 26 January was chosen as Republic day as it was on this day that Indian National Congress (INC) Declared Purna Swaraj in 1929.

During Republic Day Celebrations of each year,

President of India, who is the First Citizen of the Country unfurls the National Flag at the event.

The Republic day celebrations are held at Rajpath in Delhi. Some of the major events are

  • Republic Day Parade organized by Ministry of Defence
  • Awards Distribution  (Padma Awards, Gallantry Awards)
  • Beating Retreat Ceremony held on 29 January, which signifies the end of Republic Day Festivities.

Chief Guest of 72nd Republic Day Celebrations:

This is the 1st time in 55 years that the Republic Day Celebrations took place without a Chief Guest.

  • The last time a Republic Day Celebration was held without a Chief Guest was in 1966.
  • Originally, Boris Johnson the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was supposed to be the Chief Guest of the  72nd Republic Day Celebrations, 2021 but was not able to attend due to Pandemic.
  • In 1952 & 1953 also the Republic Day celebrations took place without a Chief Guest.

List of Firsts in the 2021 Republic Day Celebrations:

A Total of 32 Tableaux participated in the 2021 Republic Day Celebrations – 17 states & UTs, 9 from Central Ministries & 6 from Defence Arm.

  • Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth became the 1st Female Fighter Jet pilot to be part of Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Tableaux. She is one of the First 3 fighter pilots in India to be inducted into IAF in June 2016.
  • UT of Ladakh presented its First-ever Tableau at the Republic Day Parade, since its formation in 2019.
  • The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) presented its Tableau for the First Time in the Republic Day Parade.  It was led by Captain Preeti Choudhary of 140 Air Defence Regiment (Self Propelled).
  • CRPF’s Tableau featured the upgraded Schilka weapon system for the first time.
  • Rafale Fighter Aircrafts which were inducted into the IAF in September, 2020  participated in India’s Republic Day flypasts for the first time.

Participation of Bangladesh tri-services for the 1st time:

For the 1st time, a 122-member Bangladeshi Triservice force Contingent participated in the Republic Day Parade.

  • The Bangladeshi forces participated in the parade to commemorate 50 years of its Liberation, in which India played a major part.
  • The Representatives of Battalions & regiments which represented Bangladesh in the Liberation War of 1971 marched in the Republic Day parade.

Tableau of ISLRTC:

  • The Indian Sign Language Research and Training centre (ISLRTC), Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment present a tableau under the theme ‘Bhartiya Sanketik Bhasha-Ek Rashtra, Ek Sanketik Bhasha’.
  • It represented the Unifying nature of Indian Sign Language (ISL) in India & aimed to highlight Government’s efforts towards creating a environment for persons with hearing disabilities.

DRDO’s Tableau:

Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) showcased 2 Tableaus in the 2021 Republic Day Parade.

i.The First one showcased the successful take-off of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas from  India’s sole Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in 2020.

ii.The second one showcased

  • Third Generation Fire & Forget Missile NAG namely – HELINA (Helicopter based NAG) with a range of 2.5 Kms
  • SANT (Stand-off Anti-Tank Missile)
  • Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) – Laser-guided missile for Arjun Tank

List of Gallantry Awards:

On the eve of 72nd Republic Day Celebration i.e 26th January, 2021, President Ram Nath Kovind approved 455 Gallantry awards & other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel.

Mahavir Chakra:

Name & RegimentService
Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu *Army

*Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu led the Indian Troops against the Chinese attack in Galwan Valley, Eastern Ladakh in June, 2020.

Kirti Chakra:  

Name & RegimentService
Subedar Sanjiv Kumar (Posthumous)Army
Pintu Kumar Singh  (Posthumous)CRPF, MHA
Shyam Narain Singh Yadava (Posthumous)CRPF, MHA
Vinod Kumar


Rahul MathurCRPF, MHA

Vir Chakra:

Name & RegimentService
Nuduram Soren


K Palani (Posthumous)Army
Tejinder SinghArmy
Deepak Singh (Posthumous)Army
Gurtej Singh (Posthumous)Army
    • Major Anuj Sood of 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) who laid down his life in an encounter with terrorists in Handwara in Jammu & Kashmir in May 2020 was awarded with Shaurya Chakra posthumously.
    • Air Marshal Amit Tiwari, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command was awarded with Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM).
    • Besides this, VishishtSeva Medal (VSM) was awarded to 12 COVID Warriors.

    The full list of awards can be accessed here.

    Presidential Awards to CBIC Officers:

    Each year, Officers of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) are considered for grant of Presidential Award of Appreciation Certificates & Medals for

    • Exceptionally Meritorious Service rendered at the Risk of Life
    • Specially Distinguished Record of Service

    i.For 2021 Awards, 2 officers from CBIC were selected for Exceptionally Meritorious Service & 22 officers under the Specially Distinguished Record of Service.

    ii.The two officers selected for the Exceptionally Meritorious Service  rendered at the Risk of Life are

    • Vipin Pal, Intelligence Officer of Director of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Delhi Zonal Unit, Jodhpur
    • Albert George, Intelligence Officer,  DRI, Cochin Zonal Unit.

    Click here to access the full list of awards. 

    Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards – 2020:

    President Ram Nath Kovind approved the conferring of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards – 2020 on 40 persons. It is awarded to a person for honouring the meritorious act of human nature in saving the life of a person.

    • Muhammed Muhsin of Kerala was awarded the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak posthumously.
    • 8 persons were awarded the  Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak & 31 persons were awarded Jeevan Raksha Padak

    The full list of awards can be accessed here.

    Presidential Awards to Indian Coast Guard personnel:

    President Ram Nath Kovind  awarded the President’s Tatrakshak Medal (PTM) & Tatrakshak Medal (TM) to the Indian Coast Guard personnel for their acts of bravery and meritorious service.

    The full list of awards can be accessed here. 

    Maharashtra launches ‘jail tourism’ initiative at Pune’s Yerawada jail:

    On 26th January, 2021, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray launched ‘Jail Tourism’ from the Yerawada prison at Pune, Maharashtra

    • The objective will  help students, history enthusiasts & citizens  in learning historical experiences which took place during the freedom struggle.
    • Many of British-era prisons such as Yerawada have been used to imprison personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak and others.
    • In the future several prisons at Thane, Nashik, Dhule & Ratnagiri will also be included in the initiative.

    Launch of Revamped version of Gallantry Awards Portal:

    On 25th January, 2021, Raksha Mantri, Rajnath Singh launched the remodelled version of Gallantry Awards Portal –

    • It will serve as a single platform for honouring the contribution of Gallantry Awardees of India
    • A  Nationwide Quiz on  & ‘Selfie For Bravehearts’ Initiatives were also launched on the portal.