On arrival at Lahore Gate of Red Fort, the Prime Minister will be received by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju and Defence Secretary Shri Shashikant Sharma.
The Defence Secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, Major General Manvender Singh to the Prime Minister. The GOC Delhi Area will then conduct the Prime Minister to the Saluting Base where a combined Inter-Services and Police Guard will present general salute to the Prime Minister. Thereafter, Dr. Manmohan Singh will inspect the Guard of Honour.
The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister will consist of one officer and 24 men each from Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. The Guard of Honour will be positioned directly in front of the National Flag across the moat below the ramparts.
This year, Army being the coordinating agency, the Guard of Honour will be commanded by Lt Col N Seshagiri Rao of the Madras Regiment. The Army contingent will be commanded by Captain Ashwani Kumar Jha, Naval Contingent by Lt Cdr Vikram Singh, Air Force contingent by Sq Ldr Y Ananth Narayan and the Delhi Police contingent by ACP Rajnish Garg.
The Army contingent for PM’s Guard is drawn from the 28th Battalion of the Madras Regiment. The battalion was raised on 01 July 1976 Guava Hill near Wellington (Ooty) and has completed 35 glorious years of service. It has served with distinction in all kinds of operational environment including High Altitude, Line of Control and Counter Insurgency / Terrorism Operations. The unit was awarded the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Unit Appreciation for its commendable performance in Op RAKSHAK and Op VIJAY (J&K) during 1998-99.
During the short span of 35 years, personnel of the unit have been awarded one Vir Chakra, one AVSM, three Shaurya Chakras, 15 Sena Medals and three Vishist Seva Medals. The Battalion has arrived in New Delhi after a very successful deployment on the Line of Control in the Rajouri Sector of J&K and is responsible for conducting various ceremonial duties at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, Red Fort and other important ceremonial functions organized by HQ Delhi Area.
After inspecting the Guard of Honour, the Prime Minister will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by Defence Minister, Minister of State for Defence, Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne. The GOC Delhi area will conduct the Prime Minister to the dais to unfurl the National Flag.
The unfurling of the tri-colour will synchronize with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 299 Field Regiment. The ceremonial battery will be commanded by Maj Vijay Kumar Shah and the Gun Position Officer will be Sub (AIG) Gurappadu R.
The National Flag Guard comprising 32 men and one officer each from Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police will present Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Maj Vikram Singh will be in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard. The Naval Contingent for the National Flag Guard will be commanded by Lt Cdr Aswin Sundaresh, the Army contingent by Captain Gaurav Dixit, Air Force contingent by Sq Ldr S Sridhar and Delhi Police contingent by Additional DCP P Kurunakaran.
The Army Band will play National Anthem when the National Guard presents ‘Rashtriya Salute’ while unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. All Service personnel in uniform will stand and salute. The Band will be commanded by Sub Maj Ganesh Dutt Pandey.
Two Army Officers, Lieutenant Nishant Vivek and Lieutenant Mohan R will be positioned on either side of the saluting dais for the PM for ADC duties. Captain Anil Kumar will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling of the National Flag.
The Army contingent for the National Flag Guard is from the 2nd Battalion of the Rajput Regiment. Raised on November 30, 1798 at Badgaon, the Battalion designation has been changed eight times since its inception. Now known as the 2nd Battalion of the Rajput Regiment (Kalichindi), it has bagged nine battle honours and one theatre honour and has taken part in 1947, 1962 and 1971 operations, where its officers and men have exhibited extraordinary courage and valour. The battalion has been awarded with one Mahaveer Chakra, ten Vir Chakra, three Sena Medal (Gallantry), two Param Vishist Sewa Medal, two Ati Vishist Sewa Medal, one Yudh Seva Medal, two Vishist Seva Medal and eleven Sena Medal.
The Battalion has the honour of having served in Sudan as part of the United Nation Peace Keeping Mission during 2007-08. The 2nd Battalion, Rajput Regiment also has the privilege of having given us the present Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh, who is also the Colonel of the Rajput Regiment.
After unfurling the National Flag, the Prime Minister will address the nation. After the Prime Minister’s address, school children and NCC Cadets will sing the National Anthem.
About seven hundred Cadets of the National Cadet Corps from the Delhi Directorate comprising Army, Navy and Air Force wings are participating in the flag hoisting ceremony this year. The cadets will also participate in the singing of patriotic songs along with the school children. Three thousand five hundred girl students from 40 government and government-aided schools under the Directorate of Education, National Capital Territory of Delhi will sing the National Anthem. They will also sing patriotic songs in different regional languages before the start of the Independence Day ceremony.