The 66th Republic Day saw many firsts. Here are a few:
1. All-women contingents of the Army, Navy and Air Force march through Rajpath for the first time
The Army contingent, led by Captain Divya Ajith from Chennai, wants to serve in combat roles. “We believe we are equal and second to none. We have already marched for the first time on the Army Day and now another first would be the Republic Day parade. So, yes, we do wish to be in the combat force,” she said.
2. The first time that a U.S. President is Chief Guest for the parade
“This Republic Day, we hope to have a friend over…invited President Obama to be the 1st US President to grace the occasion as Chief Guest,” Narendra Modi tweeted in November last year.
3. The President and the chief guest arrived in different motorcades, a departure from the standard practice of arriving together
4. CRPF shows off Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) used in anti-Naxal operations
5. The long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter jet on display