A 74th R Day Celebrations will be a spectacular affair

A 74th R Day Celebrations will be a spectacular affair

Written By: / Wednesday, 25 January 2023 17:36

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, January 25:

With thrilling military exercises comprising acrobatic motorcycle rides, a fly-past, tableaux display, and participation of national and foreign NCC cadets, the 74 th Republic Day celebrations based on the theme “Janbhagidari’’ will be a spectacular affair. 
A massive participation of people in India and the Indian diaspora abroad is anticipated in celebration of R Day, which marks the adoption of the Indian Constitution in 1950. 
This is for the first time, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt will be the Chief Guest at the R-day parade in Delhi. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including five Ministers and senior officials. A 144-personnel military contingent of the Egyptian Army will also march in the parade. 
Parade
The parade will be held in Delhi’s renovated Kartavya Path (earlier Rajpath), the stretch of road between India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan. There will be 16 marching contingents from the Armed Forces, Central Para Military Forces, Delhi Police, NCC, NSS, Pipes, and Drums Bands. The army’s indigenous 105 mm Indian field gun will give a 21-gun salute. There will be Mounted Columns of 61 Cavalry, nine Mechanised Columns, six Marching Contingents, and a fly-past by helicopters of Army Aviation. A team of “Daredevils” Motor Cycle Riders from the Corps of Signals company led by a woman officer will be part of the parade. For the first time, women will form part of BSF Camel Contingent. 
While two NCC contingents from friendly countries will participate in the parade, 198 cadets from USA, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Mongolia, Russia, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Maldives, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sudan, New Zealand, and Fiji will witness the parade. 
The aerial show will include 50 aircraft, including nine Rafale aircraft and the Indian Navy’s IL-38, which will be showcased for the first time. Indigenously produced “Prachand”, a multi-role, light attack helicopter will also be part of the Indian Air Force flypast along with ALH Dhruv and ALH Rudra. 
Tableaux
23 tableaux-17 from states and Union territories and six from various ministries and departments, depicting the nation’s rich cultural heritage and diversity and strong internal and external security, will participate in the parade. The theme adopted this year by various states is largely “Nari Shakti” (women’s power). Maharashtra’s float is based on three and a half Shakti Peethas (prominent seats of the Hindu Goddess). 
Although the country is moving towards progress, there are many issues confronting this largest democracy in the world. A stock of different issues must be taken. 
Economy
The growth forecast continues to be a cause of concern. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
has slashed its gross domestic product (GDP) estimate to 6.8 percent from earlier 7 percent. Given the soaring dollar, India’s foreign exchange reserves declined to $562.851 billion in December last. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stood at USD 22.7 billion during April-October 2022 (from USD 21.3 billion in the corresponding period last year), as per RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das’s Monetary Policy statement. The Indian rupee which was at an all-time low due to the economic slowdown in 2022, is expected to rebound in the range of US $ -Rs. 77- Rs. 84.5 in the current year. 
Unemployment
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the average urban unemployment rate rose to 10.09% (earlier 8.96%) in December last, while the rural jobless rate decreased to 7.44% (from earlier 7.55%). The highest unemployment rate was 37.4% in Haryana and the lowest at 0.9% in Odisha. The double-digit unemployment rates were noticed in seven other states, including Delhi. With a high level of automation and digitization, manufacturing may not remain an avenue for job creation. As such a focus should be on services and self-employment. 
Population/ Health
India’s population which is around 141 crore, is expected to surpass that of China on April 14 this year. At the same time, the health infrastructure is questionable. The doctor-to-population ratio in India is 1:2148 and the infant mortality rate is 64 per 1,000 live births. The overall mortality rate has declined from 27.4 to 8 per 1,000 population and the life expectancy at birth has increased from 37.2 years to 60.6 years. 
As per India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), from 2019 to 2021, 35.5% of children under the age of five had stunting, 19.3% were wasted, and 32.1% had an underweight condition. Over 40% of youngsters receive less food and almost a third of Indians are said to be malnourished. Despite a hike in food subsidies, a fast-expanding population negates attempts to ensure better health conditions. 
Foodgrains
While the Union Government has decided to give free food grains to over 80 crore people under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), this year the estimated foodgrain production is 149.92 million tonnes, which is higher by 6.98 million tonnes than the average foodgrain production of previous years (2016-17 to 2020-21). 
Literacy
According to the National Survey of India report, the average literacy rate is 74.37%, while the  female literacy rate is around 70.3 %. Kerala has the highest literacy rate of 94 %, whereas Bihar has the lowest rate of 61.80%. India has a demonstrable capability to reach near 100% literacy level by 2025. 
Defence
While India is promoting domestic defence capabilities, 70% of the defence budget has been reserved for this work. Contracts worth Rs.54,000 crore (US$ 7.1 billion) have been signed for domestic defense procurement and the government aims to achieve an export target of Rs. 36,500 crores (US$ 4.8 billion) by 2025. Amid this, the Indian Navy has already received five India-made submarines.  
As for the missiles, India successfully test-fired new-gen nuclear-capable “Agni Prime” ballistic missile off Odisha Coast in October 2022, followed by the launch of the first privately built rocket Vikram-S (Suborbital) on November 18, 2022, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. 
Space
In addition, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to make an Aero-scientific leap in the space sector this year. Apart from Chandrayaan-III, which is scheduled to be launched on the GSLV Mk-III in June this year, the ISRO is also preparing for the maiden human space flight “Gaganyaan”, and its first mission of uncrewed “G1” is targeted to be launched in the last quarter of 2023. 
The industry must work in tandem with the government to achieve self-reliance and the target of a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2025. Let us hope that India becomes a superpower soon.

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About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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