Flight Lieutanant Bhawana Kanth
Bhawana Kanth is to become the first woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day parade. She was one among the first women fighter Pilots inducted in Indian Air Force in 2016. The other fighter pilots inducted into the Indian Air Force were Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh.
In 2019, Bhawana Kanth became the first female fighter pilot of India to qualify to undertake combat missions. She received the Nari Shakti Puraskar from President of India Ramnath Kovind in March 2020.
Republic Day parade, 2021
The Republic Day parade of 2021 will feature the newly acquired Rafale fighter jets. The Rafael Jets will be a part of the Ekalavya formation. The Ekalavya formation will include one Rafale jet, two MiG 29s and two Jaguars.
The fly past is to culminate with a single Rafale jet that will carry out Vertical Charlie formation.The vertical Charlie formation is when an aircraft flies at lower altitude and conducts rolls before stabilizing at higher altitude.
About the Parade
The Republic Day parade marches from Rashtrapati Bhavan till India Gate along the Rajpath. The first Republic Day parade was held in 1950. The chief guest of the first Republic Day parade was the then President of Indonesia Sukarno. Prior to the parade the Prime Minister lays a floral Wrath at Amar Jawan Jyoti. The Amar Jawan Jyoti is a Memorial to the fallen soldiers at the India Gate. Following this 2-minute silence in the memory of the soldiers is observed.
Republic Day parade begins with flag hoisting by the President of India and the Independence Day parade begins with the flag hoisting by Prime Minister of India.
Awards at Republic Day Celebrations
Awards presented during the Republic Day celebrations are Kirti chakra and Ashok Chakra. These awards are presented by the President of India. The Ashok Chakra award is presented on Independence Day as well.