An indigenous howitzer gun salute, invitations to anganwadi workers, street vendors, mudra scheme borrowers and mortuary employees as special guests are some of the special initiatives the Defence Ministry has taken to mark the 75 th anniversary of Independence on August 15.

India-made ATAGS

For the first time, India-made Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) will be among those used for the ceremonial 21-gun salute during the Independence Day ceremony at Red Fort, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said on Wednesday. The gun has been developed under the government's 'Make in India' initiative by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. The ATAGS will give the ceremonial 21-Gun Salute along with the British guns which are being traditionally used till now, Kumar told reporters.

The initiative to use this indigenously developed gun will stand as a testament to India’s growing capacity of developing arms and ammunition indigenously, said the ministry. The gun has been especially customised, with certain technical specifications being tweaked for the ceremony, revealed the MoD.

The ATAGS project started in 2013 by the DRDO to replace the older guns used by the Army with a modern 155mm artillery gun. DRDO's ARDE partnered with two private firms Bharat Forge Limited and Tata Advanced Systems Limited for manufacturing the world class gun that fires the bimodular charge system in Zone 7, said the MoD.. The ATAGS has a firing range of 48 kms and advanced features like high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night capability in direct-fire mode, said the Ministry. No other gun in the world is known to have that capability yet, stated the ministry.

Recognising the unrecognised

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations and deliver the customary address from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort. In continuation to the initiative taken during Republic Day 2022, the government has invited those usually overlooked. Seated as special guests at Red Fort would be, among others, anganwadi workers, street vendors, mudra scheme borrowers and mortuary workers. Similarly, NCC cadets from all districts would be seated at ‘Gyan Path’ in front of the Red Fort's ramparts in a geographical formation of the map of India. They will be wearing traditional dresses, symbolising India’s cultural diversity, to carry forward the message of ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat,’ said the Ministry.

A total of 26 officers, supervisors and 127 cadets and youths from 14 countries will be participating in a special Youth Exchange Programme organised between August 09- August 17. It's happening for the first time as part of Independence Day celebrations.

social-fb COMMENT NOW