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Gateway of India venue for Army Day celebrations
Tuesday January 13, 2015 11:15 PM, IANS

The Indian Army will for the first time hold an investiture ceremony in a civilian tourist venue here, the landmark Gateway of India, to mark the annual Army Day Thursday, official sources said Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Ashok Singh, GOC-in-C, Southern Command, will present eight gallantry awards and other awards to officers and units for their excellent services in the past year.

At the function, 14 units will be awarded the "Southern Army Commander's Unit Citation" for excellent services in the past year.

A host of military and civil dignitaries shall witness the event held against the backdrop of the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace which was a prime target during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The army will showcase a host of military equipment which would also be witnessed by the ordinary Mumbaikars.

This will be the first time a major army event shall be conducted in public domain.

A small beginning was made last year when a cultural programme was organised at the same venue, officials said.

The Army Day, celebrated Jan 15 each year, commemorates the taking over of the Indian Army in 1949 by the then Gen. K.M. Cariappa, who was later designated as Field Marshall, from the last British Commander-in-Chief, Gen. F.R.R. Bucher.

Over the past more than six decades, the Indian Army has fought three major wars since independence besides the short Kargil war in 1999.

It is engaged in the nation-building process, tackles multiple insurgencies in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir besides sending contingents to participate in various peacekeeping missions of the United Nations.

The army also works during times of peace, is deployed during various natural calamities like the floods in Jammu and Kashmir and in Uttarakhand, and has saved countless civilian lives.

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