quick reads

The business wrap: SC asks Jaypee Associates to deposit Rs 2,000 crore, and six other top stories

Other headlines: Indian benchmark indices gained after tracking positive Asian cues, and Infosys said it would hire around 6,000 engineers annually.

A look at the headlines in the sector:

  1. Supreme Court asks Jaypee Associates to deposit Rs 2,000 crore in court in loan default case: The company is facing insolvency proceedings for defaulting on a Rs 526-crore loan.   
  2. Indian markets rally as Sensex finishes 194 points higher, Nifty over 10,000: Analysts attributed the positive sentiment to North Korea belying global expectations of another nuclear test.  
  3. Infosys will hire around 6,000 engineers annually, says interim chief UB Pravin Rao: He said recruitment will ‘depend on the kind of growth you see in the market’.   
  4. RBI says it is using ‘sophisticated machines’ to check the accuracy of demonetised notes deposited: The central bank’s statement came a day after a report claimed it was not using counting devices to add up the old bills.   
  5. Income Tax Department claims over Rs 24,000 crore from proposed Aamby Valley auction, says report: The Supreme Court had ordered the prime property’s sale in April after Sahara failed to deposit the dues it owes investors.   
  6. Apple’s latest handset may be called the iPhoneX: The latest leak claims that the device will have an improved Oled screen, enhanced cameras and a 3D facial recognition scanner to unlock it.   
  7. Estranged McDonald’s partner Vikram Bakshi says 126 outlets open: The fast food chain, however, has said that it will take action to enforce cancellation of its franchise licence.  
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Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

Play

The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.