New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee will Saturday present a silver trumpet and banner to the President’s Bodyguard (PBG), the cavalry regiment of the Indian army, a statement released by Rashtrapati Bhavan said here Friday.
In the hour-long ceremony in the forecourt of the president’s house, the PBG will accept the silver trumpet and banner.
The ceremony will be followed by an audio-visual presentation highlighting the history and significance of the trumpet and the banner and the modern-day role of the PBG.
The trumpet ceremony has been in existence since 1923 when Lord Reading awarded this elite force with two trumpets on its completion of 150 years.
The banner, which is mounted on the silver trumpet, bears the symbols of the Ashoka lions with the initials of the president in the centre.
The first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, presented his silver trumpet and banner to the PBG May 14, 1957.
Mukherjee will become the country’s 12th head of state to present the award to the elite force. Former president Zakir Hussain could not bestow the honour due to his untimely demise.
The PBG, the oldest regiment of the Indian army, celebrates its 240th raising day in September this year.
The origin of this force goes back to 1773 when the first governor general of India, Warren Hastings, chose 50 hand-picked troopers.
To serve the supreme commander of the Indian armed forces, one has to be six feet tall and go through a rigorous selection process.
The PBG force comprises four officers, 14 junior commissioned officers and 161 bodyguards backed by administrative support personnel.