On August 15, 2022, India and Indians around the world celebrated the 76th Independence Day, marking the beginning of a period of freedom from the more than 200-year oppression of British colonialism.
In India, Independence Day honours the sacrifices and persistent efforts of courageous leaders and freedom fighters who endured oppression and suppression at the hands of the British and devoted their entire lives for the welfare of the nation and its citizens.
Historical Background: Independence Day of India
i.On August 15, 1947, India was declared independent of British colonialism, and sovereignty was given over to the country’s leaders.
ii.The Indian Independence Bill, which created the independent nations of India and Pakistan from the former Mughal Empire, came into effect at midnight on August 15, 1947.
- The provinces of Bengal and Punjab were divided between the two new nations.
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi lauded it as the ‘noblest act of the British nation’.
iii. Lord Mountbatten continued as Governor-General and Jawaharlal Nehru was appointed India’s first Prime Minister (PM).
Celebration of 75 years of Indian Independence: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Initiative
i.The Government of India has launched the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate and celebrate 75 years of independence as well as the glorious past of its people, culture, and achievements.
ii.The inaugural journey of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav began on March 12, 2021, commencing a 75-week countdown to the 75th anniversary of independence. It will conclude post a year on August 15, 2023.
- The Ministry of Culture is the nodal ministry for Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
- India began its 76th year of independence in 2022.
iii. On August 15, 2022, Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi led the country in commemorating the historic 76th Independence Day from the Red Fort in New Delhi (Delhi).
- For the ninth time, he has hoisted the National Flag and delivered the customary speech to the nation.
- PM Modi hailed “nari shakti”, and urged people to pledge to not do anything that lowers the dignity of women.
Guard of Honour Contingent for The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister’s Guard of Honour consists of one officer and 20 men from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Delhi Police. The coordinating agency for the year 2022 is the Indian Air Force.
- Wing Commander Kunal Khanna commanded the Guard of Honour.
- Squadron Leader Lokendra Singh led the Air Force contingent, Major Vikas Sangwan led the Army contingent, and Lt Commander Avinash Kumar led the Naval contingent.
- Shri Achin Garg, Additional DCP (East Delhi), served as the commander of the Delhi Police contingent.
- Squadron Leader Sumita Yadav assisted the PM in hoisting the National Flag.
The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), a domestically produced howitzer gun created as part of the government’s “Make in India” initiative, was fired for the first time as part of the formal 21-gun salute. The gun was designed and developed entirely in India by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
PM Modi Gives ‘Jai Anusandhan’ Slogan to Push for Innovation
During his Independence Day 2022 speech at the Red Fort, PM Narendra Modi gave the slogan “Jai Anusandhan” (hail innovation).
- The PM initially proclaimed “Jai Anusandhan” at the 2019 Indian Science Congress (ISC) opening ceremony in Jalandhar, Punjab.
Key Facts: Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Jai Vigyan Jai Anusandhaan
i.Former Indian PM Lal Bahadur Shastri proclaimed the inspirational clarion call “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”, which translates as “Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer.”
ii.Later, former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced a new link called “Jai Vigyan”, which means “hail science.”
iii. Jai Anusandhaan is a great demonstration of indigenous innovations, with success stories of UPI-BHIM, India’s digital payment, which holds a promising stance in the domain of Fintech (financial technology).
iv.India currently accounts for 40% of all real-time digital financial transactions worldwide, demonstrating to the rest of the world its innovation prowess.
‘Panch Pran’: PM Modi’s 5 Pledges to Make India a Developed Nation in 25 Years
PM Narendra Modi urged the nation to move forward while focusing on the “Panch Pran” (5 pledges) for the upcoming 25 years while delivering his Independence Day address to the nation.
- He presented the country with 5 pledges to fulfil the dreams of freedom fighters by 2047, when India will celebrate its 100th year of independence.
‘Panch Pran’: The 5 Pledges
Pledge 1: Move forward with a strong resolve to build a developed India.
Pledge 2: In no part of our existence, not even in the deepest corners of our minds or habits, should there be any ounce of slavery.
Pledge 3: Feel proud of our heritage and legacy.
Pledge 4: Unity and Solidarity. “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” is one of the unifying initiatives to actuate the dream of this pledge.
Pledge 5: Duties of citizens, which include the PM and Chief Ministers (CMs), as they are also responsible citizens.
India Celebrates ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ Campaign
i.Har Ghar Tiranga is a campaign organized by Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga (tricolour) home and hoist it to commemorate India’s 75th year of independence.
- The purpose of the campaign is to foster a sense of patriotism among the masses and to raise awareness of the Indian National Flag.
ii.People are encouraged to hoist the flag in their houses from August 13 – 15, 2022 to commemorate this historic occasion.
- A citizen, a private organization or an educational institution may hoist or display the National Flag on all days and occasions. There is no restriction on the timing of flag display.
iii. The government has amended the Flag Code of India to allow the tricolour to be displayed in the open and on individual houses or buildings day and night.
- Apart from this, citizens can also ‘Pin a Flag’ virtually at https://harghartiranga.com, along with posting a ‘Selfie with Flag’ on the site.
iv.The Har Ghar Tiranga Program was observed by the Government of India (GoI) from August 11, 2022, to August 15, 2022. It has commemorated the event in 400 iconic sites across the country.
v.During the campaign, a number of new records were set, including the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Human Image of a Waving National Flag” in Chandigarh’s Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, which involved 5,885 people.
- The NID Foundation and Chandigarh University coordinated the event.
Universal Design Version of Indian National Anthem Released
On August 13, 2022, as part of the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav celebrations, the Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities (Divyangjan) [AYJNISHD(D)] in Mumbai, Maharashtra, released the Indian National Anthem in Universal Design.
- AYJNISHD(D) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE).
i.This version of the Indian National Anthem includes features of Universal Design, such as audio/video description for the visually-impaired, Indian Sign Language and captions for those with hearing impairments.
- The Captions are available in 14 Indian Languages and English Language.
ii.The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has approved the version for Universal and Educational viewing.
President Approves 107 Gallantry Awards to Armed Forces & CAPF Personnel On Independence Day 2022
Droupadi Murmu, the President of India and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has presented 107 Gallantry awards to Armed Forces and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel on the occasion of Independence Day 2022. These include,
- Three Kirti Chakra
- 13 Shaurya Chakras
- Two Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry)
- 81 Sena Medals (Gallantry)
- One Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry)
- 7 Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry)
The President has also approved 40 Mention-in-Despatches to the Army personnel; One Mention-in-Despatch to Air Force personnel and One Mention-in-Despatch to Army Dog – Axel (posthumously) for their significant contributions in different military operations.
- These include Operation Rakshak, Operation Snow Leopard, Operation Rhino, Operation Orchid, Operation Falcon, Operation Hifazat and Operation Trikut (Deoghar).
Belgian Malinois Army Dog ‘Axel’ was killed in Kashmir’s Baramulla district shortly after assisting in the identifying a terrorist.
IAF’s Wing Commander Deepika Misra Becomes First Woman to Receive Vayu Sena Medal
Wing Commander Deepika Misra, an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, received the Vayu Sena medal, making history as the first woman to receive the honour.
- In August 2021, she was assigned to carry out Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) activities in response to flash floods in northern Madhya Pradesh.
- She had evacuated 47 people from the flood-affected area while piloting a Dhruv advanced light helicopter.
i.She is one of the seven members of the IAF who have received the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry. The seven members are:
- 4 pilots – Flight Lieutenant D Ravindra Rao, Group Captains Rahul Singh and Ravi Nanda, and Wing Commander Deepika Misra.
- Other 3 are: Squadron Leader Dilip Gurnani, Sergeants Parminder Singh and Shyam Veer Singh.
ii.The Vayu Sena award was given to Group Captains Rahul Singh and Ravi Nanda for their respective contributions to India’s Operation Devi Shakti, the mission to evacuate Indians from Kabul after the Taliban took control of the city.
2 BSF Men Who Died at LoC Get Kirti Chakra; CRPF Officer Gets Shaurya Chakra
On the celebration of Independence Day 2022 (i.e., August 15, 2022), two members of the Border Security Force (BSF), Constable Sudip Sarkar of the 169th battalion and Sub Inspector Paotinsat Guite of the 59th battalion, received the Kirti Chakra medal posthumously.
- They were killed while preventing different terrorist infiltration attempts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
Amit Kumar, an Assistant Commandant in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), received the Shaurya Chakra for executing a Lashkar-e-Taiba member in Srinagar (J&K).
- On the occasion of Independence Day, the CRPF was also honoured with a maximum of 109 police gallantry medals. Out of the 108, it received 83 medals for fighting terrorism in J&K, and the remaining medals were awarded for exhibiting bravery during anti-Naxal operations.
i.The Kirti Chakra comes second in the order of precedence of peacetime gallantry medals, followed by the Shaurya Chakra.
- Ashok Chakra is India’s highest peacetime gallantry award.
ii.Wartime Highest Gallantry Awards are Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra.
iii. These gallantry awards are announced twice in a year – first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day.
iv.Order of precedence of these awards is the Param Vir Chakra, the Ashoka Chakra, the Mahavir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Vir Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra.
President’s Medal for Gallantry, Distinguished & Meritorious Services Awarded
On the occasion of India’s 76th year of independence, the President’s Medal for Gallantry and the President’s Medal for Distinguished Services, as well as the Gallantry Medal and Meritorious Services Medals, were presented to members of the Fire Services, Civil Defence, and Home Guards.
- These awards are presented every year on Republic Day and Independence Day.
i.A total of 1,082 police officers received Police Medals on the occasion of Independence Day in 2022.
ii.A total of 55 personnel have received Fire Service Medals.
- The Fire Service Medal for Gallantry is awarded to 11 individuals for their achievements of valour and heroism.
- The President’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service is awarded to 6 personnel, and the Fire Service Medal for Meritorious Service is awarded to 38 personnel for their respective distinguished and meritorious records of service.
iii. In addition, 46 servicemen were awarded Home Guard and Civil Defence Medals.
- In Tamil Nadu (TN), the following three police officers have received the medal for distinguished service.
- K. Shankar, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Administration, Chennai (TN)
- C. Easwaramoorthy, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Internal Security, Chennai (TN)
- M. Madasamy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, Salem City, TN
On Independence Day, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann launches 75 ‘Aam Aadmi Clinics’
On August 15, 2022, Bhagwant Mann, the CM of Punjab, dedicated 75″Aam Aadmi Clinics” to the residents of the state to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence.
- In addition to providing patients with free medications, the mohalla clinics will provide about 100 different sorts of clinical examinations with no cost.
- Each of these clinics will have four employees, including a doctor and a laboratory technician.