The annual Republic Day parade on the majestic Rajpath in New Delhi will be much different this year. There will be strict SOPs and restrictions in place due to the prevailing situation of coronavirus pandemic. From guests' limit to the performances and time duration, the event has been curtailed significantly. The measures are aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.
Here is a detailed list of changes that are being made for Republic Day Parade 2021:
Cap on guests limit: Only 25,000 people will be allowed to watch the parade on Rajpath compared to over 1,00,000 people who usually turn up for the event. Out of these 25,000, only 4,000 people from the general public will be allowed, while the rest of the spectators will be VVIP and VIP guests. However, no foreign guest has been invited this year for the Republic Day Parade.
Age limit: People between the age group above 15 years and below 65 will only be allowed to witness the Rajpath's Republic Day celebration.
Students, artists performing cultural events: The number of participating children and folk artists have been cut down to 400 this year, compared to more than 600 last year, in view of the Covid-19 restrictions. The Ministry of Defence and Directorate of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi have selected 401 students and artists - 271 girls and 131 boys - from DTEA Senior Secondary Schools, Delhi, Mount Abu Public School, Rohini, Delhi, Vidya Bharti School, Rohini, Delhi, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, B-2, Yamuna Vihar, Delhi and Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata.
Seating arrangement: Nobody will be allowed at the free-standing areas, located near the boat club and at India Gate lawns where thousands gather each year to watch the grand parade. Bleachers or stands along the Rajpath have been replaced with chairs to maintain social distancing.
Shorter parade: According to Hindustan Times, the main parade consisting of the marching contingents from the three arms of the defence forces, weapon systems, and groups from the paramilitary, will conclude at the India Gate, instead of going up to the Red Fort. However, the tableaux will be allowed to go up to Red Fort grounds.
Cap on marching contingents: Apart from that, the size of the marching contingents from the armed forces and the paramilitary will be smaller. These squads will only have 96 participants compared to 144 in the ordinary course