Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with, quite literally, open arms as he arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday to attend the Republic Day celebrations.
The crown prince of Abu Dhabi arrived in Delhi on Jan 24, 2017 as a part of the three tour to India
The Crown Prince will be the Chief Guest at this year’s Republic Day parade.
Al Nahyan, also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces, arrived here on a three-day visit and will hold comprehensive talks with PM Modi on Wednesday after which the two sides are expected to sign nearly 16 pacts including Strategic Cooperation Agreement.
India and UAE also decided to elevate the bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
India in 2014 began talks to lease part of its strategic storage to Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC). Under such a deal, India would have first rights to the stored crude in case of an emergency, while ADNOC would be able to move cargoes to meet any shift in demand.
The deal was signed by oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan and a representative of ADNOC after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince+ Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Modi also thanked the Crown Prince for allotting land for a temple in the UAE, which is home to around 2.6 million expatriate Indians.
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 68th REPUBLIC DAY will be,
1. Chief Guest
A great time of pride for Indian expats in the UAE, the chief guest for this year’s Republic Day parade is Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces.
2.UAE contingent marches with India
Every year, the parade and the celebrations get even more colourful and, for the first time since 1950, foreign troops marched down the Rajpath on Republic Day last year. French troops, the 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, marched alongside Indian soldiers. This year, 179 soldiers from the UAE (which includes 144 soldiers and 35 band members), will lead the parade.
3. First-time participants
Last year, a ‘first’ for the 67th Republic Day parade was an all-women contingent performing stunts, known as the ‘Women Daredevils CRPF’. India’s elite counter-terror group, the National Security Guard, will march in the parade for the first time ever this year. India’s very own Light Combat Aircraft will also make its debut appearance this year.
4. Traditional highlights
The traditional BSF contingent astride camels, and fifty-one horses of 61st Cavalry Regiment are two major highlights. Performances by school children and tableau groups, and an aerial flypast by the Indian Air Force with 27 aircrafts are also major attractions this year, as they are every time.
The list of Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards have been announced. These are three of the highest civilian awards awarded by the Government of India and were instituted in 1954. Every year, the list of awardees is announced on January 25, before the Republic day celebrations take place on the 26th.
The Padma Vibhushan awardees for 2017 include legendary singer, Yesudas and political leaders Sharad Pawar and Murli Manohar Joshi. In sports, Viral Kohli (cricketer), Dipa Karmakar (gymnast), Vikas Gowda (discus throw) and .R. Sreejesh (hockey) have been awarded the Padma Shri. Other awardees include AIDS researcher Dr Suniti Solomon, Imrat Khan (artist), Anuradha Koirala (social worker), Bhavna Somaiya (film critic), Vishwa Mohan Bhat (music) and Anuradha Paudwal (singer).
Celebrating in the UAE:
Burj Khalifa LED show
The Burj Khalifa will light up in the colours of the Indian flag today and tomorrow (January 25 and 26) in salute to the Indian Republic Day. The shows will be at 6.15pm, 7.15pm and 8.15pm on both days along with complimenting Dubai Fountain shows.
Indian Consulate in Dubai has a flag-hoisting ceremony at the consulate premises by Consul General Mr. Anurag Bhushan (followed by flag-hoisting at the Indian High School (IHS) grounds in Oud Metha). The ceremony at IHS will include a march-past by the students and other cultural activities as well.