Bengaluru: As India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day amid coronavirus scare, one girl from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh will get to watch the proceedings from the Prime Minister’s box. 

She is Divyangi Tripathi, who topped the district in class XII CBSE board exams last year, by scoring 99.6%. 


As reported by Times of India, Divyangi’s father Umesh Nath Tripathi, a professor in the chemistry department of DDU Gorakhpur University, said, “It is a matter of pride for us and we are very happy.”

Her mother Usha Tripathi was quoted as saying that they got the invitation from the Union government on January 13.

Divyangi said, “It is like a dream come true for me to watch the Republic Day parade with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is my favorite leader. I am very happy.” 

The girl yearns to become a doctor and serve the country. 

A note on aircraft that would be on display: 

At the Republic Day parade this year, the Indian Air Force will press into action the Rafale jets and the vintage Dakota aircraft. They would be part of 42 aircraft taking part in the flypast.

Reports add that Rafale fighter jets will do a "vertical charlie" to end the flypast and Dakota would be part of Rudra formation when the Bangladesh contingent would be marching on Rajpath. This is the first time the Bangladesh contingent would be marching on Rajpath.

A note on Dakota aircraft: 

During the 1971 war, Dakota aircraft played a pivotal role in the liberation of Bangladesh and formation of Bangladesh Air Force and were used for air dropping Army troops in Bangladesh's Tangail.

Here are the salient features of Rafale aircraft: 

1. They will be able to outgun and outrun Pakistani F-16 and JF-17 as well as the Chinese Chengdu J-20 fighters.

2. The upgrades range from radar enhancements, Israeli helmet-mounted displays and low-band jammers to towed decoy systems, 10-hour flight data recording and engine capability for "cold start" from high-altitude regions like Ladakh.

3. All the 36 Rafales, which can also deliver nuclear weapons, are slated to be delivered by end-2021. The Ambala and Hashimara airbases will house 18 each for the western and eastern fronts. The Rafales will significantly add to the qualitative and quantitative edge IAF already enjoys over the Chinese air force along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control.

4. The IAF has also projected the operational need to go in for another 36 Rafales in the backdrop of its depleting number of fighter squadrons as well as both Hasimara and Ambala having the requisite infrastructure to house two squadrons each. But that decision is yet to be taken.

5. The top speed of the aircraft is 2223 km/hr, the maximum weight of the aircraft is 24,500 kg and the range is 3,700 km.

6. It is capable of ground support, aerial reconnaissance, in-depth strikes, interception and nuclear deterrence.