Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the awardees of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) on Monday, a day before the country celebrated Republic Day. The virtual interaction will take place at noon on January 25, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
The PMRBP, formerly known as the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement, is India’s highest civilian honour for those under the age of 18. Every year ahead of Republic Day, the award is conferred to children with outstanding achievements in the fields of innovation, sports, arts and culture, social service, scholastic field and bravery.
As many as 32 applicants from across the country, under different categories of Bal Shakti Puraskar, have been selected for the award this year, the statement added. Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani will also be present on the occasion.
India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day on January 26. The country’s Constitution came into effect on this day in 1950. However, the coronavirus pandemic has dampened celebrations this year. The parade that will take place in the national capital will also have a few regular features missing, such as stunts on motorcycles by the forces and veterans’ parades by ex-servicemen and women. The parade by recipients of the national bravery awards will also not be a part of the celebrations this year.A senior official involved in the Republic Day arrangement said, “There will be no enclosure for schoolchildren this year either. The total number of the enclosures has also been reduced from 36 to 22. The number of attendees will be 25,000 as against 150,000 until last year. Only 4,000 entries will be through tickets, the others would be invitation-based. The motorcycle stunt event was cancelled as it involved the participants sitting closely together and supporting each other while staying in close proximity on moving motorcycles.”