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AI to select best marching contingent at Army Day Parade today

Lucknow, Jan 15 : The Indian Army will celebrate the 76th Army Day with a grand parade in Uttar Pradesh’s capital city, Lucknow, on Monday.

The Army Day parade has been moved out of Delhi for the second consecutive year. Last year, the parade took place at Bengaluru’s MED & Centre’s Parade Ground.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandi Ben Patel will be in attendance as chief guests at the parade ground in Lucknow.

This year, the parade will be held under the Command of Army’s Central Command, which is headquartered in Lucknow. Central Command is one of the seven operational commands of the Indian Army. Last year, the Southern Command was responsible for the parade in Bengaluru.

This year’s Army Day parade will be special because of the use of Artificial Intelligence to select the ‘Best Marching Contingent’.

“Artificial Intelligence is being used for the first time to identify the best marching contingent,” Major General Salil Seth said.

“All marching contingents do drills but there is a pattern of doing it — raising your hands and legs to a certain level and doing your movement with the weapon within a certain timeframe. We will capture the individual movement with a camera and then the computer software using the AI will give marks for every movement. This will also be supervised by humans. We have done two to three practices,” the officer added.

The grand spectacle will take place at the parade ground of the 11 Gorkha Rifles Regimental Centre in Lucknow under the command of Major General Salil Seth. Six marching contingents from the Army’s different regiments, a military band comprising five regimental brass bands and three pipe bands will participate.

50th (Independent) Parachute Brigade, Sikh Light Infantry, Jat Regiment, Garhwal Rifles, Bengal Engineer Group and the Army Air Defence contingent will march down the parade ground.

The five regimental brass/military bands are — Punjab Regiment Centre, Grenadier Regimental Centre, Bihar Regiment Centre, Sikh Light Regiment Centre, Kumaon Regimental Centre and SIKH Regimental Centre.

The five regimental pipe bands are the SIKH Regiment Centre, SIKH LI Regiment Centre, JAT Regiment Centre, KUMAON Regimental Centre and 1 Signal Training Centre.

Army Chief General Manoj Pande will review the parade and present gallantry awards, which will be followed by a daring motorcycle display by the Army Service Corps (ASC) Tornadoes, a skydiving display by the Paratroopers, daredevil jumps, and a flypast by of helicopters of the Army Aviation Corps.

Army Day is celebrated every year on January 15 to commemorate the occasion when General (Later Field Marshal) K.M. Cariappa took charge of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Roy Bucher in 1949 and became the first-ever Indian to command the Army in its long, rich history. General Sir Francis Roy Bucher was the last British-serving chief of the Indian Army.

From 1949 till 2022, the Army Day parade was organised at the Cariappa Parade Ground in the Delhi Cantonment. The Chief of Army Staff reviews the marching contingents who also take part in the Republic Day Parade every year.

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