In a major step which will further help cement diplomatic ties between India and the United States of America, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited US President Barack Obama to be the chief guest at next year's Republic Day celebrations, which was readily accepted by the latter.

Obama will be the first US President to grace the grand celebrations at Rajpath. A release from the White House confirmed the reports. It said, "At the invitation of Prime Minister Modi, the President will travel to India in January 2015 to participate in the Indian Republic Day celebration in New Delhi as the Chief Guest. This visit will mark the first time a U.S. president will have the honor of attending Republic Day, which commemorates the adoption of India's constitution. The President will meet with the Prime Minister and Indian officials to strengthen and expand the U.S.-India strategic partnership."

Obama is also the first incumbent US President to visit India twice during his term.

Obama last visited India in November 2010. Modi embarked on a five-day trip to the US in September, three months after assuming office. His trip was rated as hugely successful by experts. Obama had earlier in the month called Modi a "man of action".