India is celebrating its 74th Independence Day today. It was this day in 1947 that India got freedom from the British empire. This year, the Independence Day celebrations are being held without much fanfare courtesy the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Modi started the celebrations from the ramparts of the Red Fort amid a multilayered security arrangement. This was PM Modi's seventh consecutive Independence Day speech the Red Fort. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, celebrations are being held across the country while factoring in requisite precautions and norms of social distancing. The midnight of 15th August is an unforgettable moment for every Indian. It was on this very day in the year 1947 when India broke the shackles of oppression and gained independence from the British rule. And justifiably so, it remains etched in our memories since.
Stay with India TV's mega coverage on the I-Day celebrations as we bring you news of celebrations, politics, pandemic, business and economy has begun. Alternatively, you can also catch the livestreaming of the celebrations helmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address on India TV's social media platforms. We present before you an unmissable coverage of the I-Day celebrations as we serve you with breathtaking photos and videos from the length and breadth of the country. Also powering in real-time updates as India remembers its 'Tryst with Destiny' for the 74th year. You can also track breaking news from India and around the world in this space. Stay tuned!
07:54 pm: In a big announcement, former India team captain Mahinder Singh Dhoni has announced his retirement from international cricket. Dhoni made the announcement in an Instagram post.
06:40 pm: At Home ceremony underway at Rashtrapati Bhavan during Independence Day celebrations.
06:00 pm: Beating retreat ceremony underway at Attari-Wagah border on Independence Day.
03:50 pm: Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani hoisted the national flag in Gandhinagar on the occasion of 74th Independence Day.
15:40 pm: Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, Radha Krishna Mathur hoisted the national flag at Polo Ground on the occasion of 74th IndependenceDay.
03:00 pm: PM Modi received a telephone call today from Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli. PM Oli greeted Government and people of India on 74th Independence Day and also conveyed congratulations for India’s recent election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council
02:39 pm: Jammu and Kashmir: Indian Army troops in Gurez sector celebrate Independence Day.
02:30 pm: Indian Army dogs Vida and Sophie awarded the Chief of Army Staff 'Commendation Cards' on #IndependenceDay this year, for their role in different operations.
02:21 pm: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal hoisted the National Flag at Judges' Field in Guwahati, earlier today.
01:00 pm: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant hoisted the National Flag in Panaji, today
12:30 pm: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren hoists the National Flag at Morabadi Ground.
11:54 am: President Ram Nath Kovind pays tribute at National War Memorial on Independence Day. Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh & Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria present.
Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind pays tribute at National War Memorial on #IndependenceDay. Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh & Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria present. pic.twitter.com/M7io7HL6C1— ANI (@ANI) August 15, 2020
11:07 am: Senior Congress leader AK Antony hoists the National Flag at Congress party's headquarters, today on Independence Day today. Rahul Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal also present.
10: 42 am: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hoists the National Flag at his residence on Independence Day.
10.04 am: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat hoisted the tricolour at RSS Headquarters in Nagpur. He also offered flowers to Bharat Mata.
10. 02 am: "India is a peace-loving nation with all strength to protect its sovereignty & integrity. Our security forces at borders are alert with complete strength & force and we assure the nation that our borders are well protected & safe," SS Deswal, Director General of ITBP and BSF said on Independence Day.
10.01 am: Coronavirus may be a big challenge but not so big as to stop India's march towards self-reliance, the Prime Minister said during his speech.
10.00 am: Over Rs 100 lakh crore to be spent under the National Infrastructure Pipeline Project, 7,000 projects identified, PM Modi said in his speech.
9.55 am: DRDO-developed anti-drone system deployed near Red Fort today on #IndependenceDay. The system can detect and jam micro drones up to 3 kilometres and use a laser to bring down a target up to 1-2.5 kilometres depending on the wattage of laser weapon.
09:03 am: PM Modi concludes his speech
09:01 am: In the next 1000 days, Lakshadweep will also be connected to submarine optical fiber cable, says Modi
09:00 am: There are more than 1300 islands in our country. Keeping in mind their geographical location and their significance in the development of the nation, work to begin new projects in some of these islands is underway.
8:57 am: Delimitation exercise is being carried out in Jammu and Kashmir, the country is committed for completion of this work so that elections are held and people's representatives are elected there.
8:55 am: From LoC to LAC, whoever tried to raise their eyes towards the sovereignty of our country, our soldiers responded to it in the same manner.
8:50 am: This one year is a year of the new journey of development for Jammu and Kashmir. This one year is the year of the rights received by the women and the Dalits in Jammu and Kashmir. This one year is also the year of a life of dignity for the refugees in Jammu and Kashmir: PM Modi
8:44 am: Expansionism or terrorism, India has been standing tall, PM says
8:43 am: From LAC to LOC, India gave befittingly replies to enemies in their language, says PM
8:40 am: We have set up committee to reconsider the minimum age for marriage of our daughters. We will take appropriate decision after the committee submits its report: PM Narendra Modi
8:36 am: India is testing three vaccines right now. Whenever scientists get a green signal, we will make them available for all. The blueprint is ready. We are ready for large scale production.
8:32 am: Blueprint ready for making COVID-19 vaccine available to all whenever trials get completed, says PM Modi
8:30 am: PM Modi announces National Digital Health Mission
8:27 am: Only 5 dozen village panchayats were connected with optical fibre before 2014. In the last 5 years, 1.5 Lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre. In the coming 1000 days, every village of the nation will be connected with optical fibre, says PM
8:22 am: About Rs 90,000 crore directly transferred to bank accounts of poor; over 80 crore people provided free food grains. Seven crore poor families were given free gas cylinders: PM Modi.
8:21 am: The concept of online classes has become a culture in COVID times, says PM
8:20 am: PM Modi mentions National Education Policy, says it is being acknowledged.
8:17 am: An important priority of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' is Aatmanirbhar agriculture and Aatmanirbhar farmer. To provide modern infrastructure to the farmers of the country, 'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund' of Rs 1 Lakh Crores has been created, says Modi
8:12 am: Today, many big companies are turning towards India. We have to move forward with the mantra of ‘Make for world’ along with ‘Make in India’, says PM Modi
8:09 am: Last year, there was a record 18% increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to our country. The world has shown confidence in India as we have worked on our policies, democracy and strengthening of the foundation of our economy, says PM Modi
8:05 am: A few months back we used to import N-95 masks, PPE kits and ventilators. Today India is not only meeting its own requirements but it has also stepped forward to help other countries, says Modi
8:04 am: The mindset of free India should be 'vocal for local'. We should appreciate our local products, if we don't do this then our products will not get the opportunity to do better and will not get encouraged, says PM Modi
8:03 am: I agree that there are lakhs of challenges for Aatmanirbhar Bharat & they increase if there is global competitiveness. However, if there are lakhs of challenges then the country also has power which gives crores of solutions, my countrymen who give us the strength of solution, says PM
8:00 am: I am confident that measures like opening up the SPACE sector, will generate many new employment opportunities for our youth and provide further avenues to hone their skills and potential, says Modi
7:58 am: I am confident that measures like opening up the SPACE sector, will generate many new employment opportunities for our youth and provide further avenues to hone their skills and potential, says PM
7:57 am: It never happened that there was any part during the time period of India's slavery that no attempt was made to free the country or nobody made sacrifices for freedom, says PM
7:54 am: India became a challenge to forces of expansionism with its freedom struggle, says PM
7:52 am: This is a day to remember the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. This is also a day to show gratitude to Security personnel including that of Army, paramilitary and police ensuring our safety, says PM Modi
7:49 am: I am confident that India will realise this dream. I am confident of the abilities, confidence and potential of my fellow Indians. Once we decide to do something, we do not rest until we achieve that goal: PM Narendra Modi from the ramparts of the Red Fort, says Modi
7:48 am: Amid COVID-19 pandemic 130 crore Indians took the resolve to be self-reliant and 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' is on the mind of India. This dream is turning into a pledge. Aatmanirbhar Bharat has become a 'mantra' for the 130 cr Indians today, says Modi
7:45 am: India’s soul has been attacked several times, but our nation’s unwavering spirit conquered all, says PM Modi
7:43 am: We're going through distinct times. I can't see young children in front of me today (at Red Fort). Corona has stopped everyone. In these times of COVID, Corona warriors have lived the mantra of 'Seva Parmo Dharma' and served the people of India. I express my gratitude to them, PM says
7:42 am: PM Modi pays condolences to the parts of the country facing natural calamities and disasters and reassures our fellow citizens of full support in this hour of need.
7:39 am: When we enter the 75th year of our Independence, we will celebrate it like a festival, Modi says
7:37 am: PM Modi congratulates corona warriors for their exemplary efforts
7:36 am: A very happy Independence Day to all of you, PM Modi says
7:35 am: PM Modi begins addressing the nation
7:30 am: PM Modi unfurls the tiranga, address shortly
7:22 am: PM Modi inspects the Guard of Honour at Red Fort on Independence Day
7:20 am: PM Modi reaches Red Fort
7:15 am: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar wait for PM Modi at Red Fort's Lahore Gate.
7:13 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. Watch all the action live on India TV.
7:04 am: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat have reached Red Fort.
7:00 am: In a short while from now, PM Modi will address the nation from Red Fort.
6:53 am: PM Modi wishes a Happy Independence Day to all Indians. Take a look at his tweet.
#स्वतंत्रतादिवस के पावन अवसर पर सभी देशवासियों को बहुत-बहुत शुभकामनाएं।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2020
Happy Independence Day to all fellow Indians.
6:47 am: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unfurls the national flag at his residence in Delhi. He says, "We will get freedom in its true meaning when India becomes self-reliant. So today we need to take a pledge to make India self-reliant."
6:41 am: If you're planning to move out today, do take a look at Delhi Police's traffic advisory.
6:30 am: Security checks are being conducted at the Red Fort ahead of PM Modi's arrival.
6:24 am: Major Shweta Pandey will assist the prime minister in unfurling the National Flag. The woman officer had carried the tricolour and led an Indian military contingent at the Victory Day parade in Moscow in June.
6:22 am: Catch all the action live on India TV. Guests join in!
6:19 am: First visuals from the iconic Red Fort are here!
6:13 am: NCC cadets have been invited to witness the event instead of young schoolchildren and they will be seated at Gyanpath.
6:12 am: Most of the parking areas have been bricklined and paved in order to ensure smooth entry and exit of vehicles to the maximum feasible extent.
6:06 am: To facilitate seamless movement with minimal chance of any crowding, seating enclosures and walkways have been laid out with wooden flooring and carpeting. Additional door frame metal detectors, with adequately spaced markings have been provided to avoid queuing and to ensure smooth passage for all the invitees.
6:00 am: The Defence Ministry has also set up Covid-19 medical booths at four locations, one near the ramparts, one at Madhavdas Park and two at 15 August Park. They will cater to attendees who are detected having any symptoms related to Covid-19 during entry. Ambulances would also be stationed at these four locations.
5:51 am: Only 110 VVIPs will be present at the Red Fort event as against 440 in previous years. About 4,000 plus invites have also been issued to officials, diplomats, members of the public, media and others.
5:40 am: Meanwhile, take a look at the full I-Day dress rehearsals that were held on August 13.
5:35 am: After unfurling the tricolor, PM Modi will begin addressing the nation around 7.30 am.
5:32 am: At 7.28 am, PM Modi will unfurl the national flag while the Army Grenadiers Regimental Centre Military Band will play the national anthem and elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial) will give a 21 Gun Salute.
5:31 am: Around 7.18-7.20, PM Modi's cavalcade will reach Red Fort's Lahore Gate. He will be received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar. The prime minister will then proceed to inspect the Guard of Honour.
5:30 am: At 7.05 am, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
5:25 am: We give you an insight into what's going to unfold at the Red Fort event. Updates to follow. Stay tuned.
5:15 am: Watch full coverage on India TV. Alternatively, India TV social media platforms will livestream 6 am onward.
PM MODI'S SPEECH FROM RED FORT ON 74th INDEPENDENCE DAY: FULL VIDEO (Shortly)
5:00 am: Goodmorning! India TV wishes you all a Happy Independence Day. We guarantee you a mega coverage of the I-Day celebrations today. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech to photos and videos of I-Day celebrations across the country, we promise to serve you all. No stopping!