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GST song, NSG commandos add glitter to parade

Twesh Mishra KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on January 26, 2017

NSG Commandos at Rajpath during Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma

The Skill India tableau in R-day parade in New Delhi on Thursday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee welcoming Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the R-Day function in New Delhi on Thursday.

The tableau of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the R-Day parade in New Delhi on Thursday.

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa lit up in tricolours to mark India's Republic Day celebrations..

Tableaux showcase Central schemes

If there was one aspect of the colourful 68th Republic Day parade that caught the attention of the citizenry, it was the GST song (in Hindi) from the Revenue Department’s tableau.

The song on the Goods and Services Tax — highlighting the benefits of the one nation-one tax policy — reflected the Narendra Modi government’s commitment to ushering in the biggest tax reform since Independence.

Time is running out for the introduction of GST, with the Constitutional Amendment paving the way for the reform set to lapse on September 16. On its part, the Centre has indicated that dual GST may become a reality from July 1.

Another first that grabbed the attention was the march of the National Security Guards at Rajpath.

A 149-member UAE Presidential Guard, the Air Force, the Navy and the Army contingent led by a UAE band — consisting of 35 musicians — marched on Rajpath at Thursday’s event. This follows from last year, when a 76-member French Army contingent led by a French military band consisting of 48 musicians marched in the parade.

The Centre also took this opportunity to highlight the efforts of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to encourage adoption of Khadi for commercial and household use.

The tableau on Urban Development and Housing was themed on the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna and the role of the National Housing Bank in allowing cheap loans for potential home owners.

The Ministry of Skill Development’s tableau focused on the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, the flagship scheme for encouraging employment.

The tableau highlighted the role of youth in manufacturing and the push towards increasing employability for skilled workers.

Last year, the Centre’s tableaux focused on social empowerment for the backward section of population, clean energy, Digital India, cleanliness and sanitation under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, electorate empowerment and women empowerment in rural regions.

Going global

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was the Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations.

What made Republic Day 2017 special was its globalised appeal. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, lit up with India’s tricolour to mark the occasion. In a statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs noted the musical fountains adjacent to Burj Khalifa leapt to the strains of Jai Ho and Vande Mataram on Republic Day eve.

This light and sound show was repeated on Thursday.

Published on January 26, 2017
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