National Cadet Corps to train 100,000 more youth annually


New Delhi : The National Cadet Corps (NCC), the world’s largest uniformed youth organisation that imparts military training to over 1 million school and college students, will enrol an additional 100,000 volunteers each year, it was announced here Sunday.

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The government is also considering a proposal to enhance the numerical strength of the NCC in a phased manner, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said, while delivering the annual NCC Day lecture on its 59th foundation day here.

Also, 20 percent of the seats for women officers at the Officers Training Academy that prepares them for a short service commission in the Indian Army, would be reserved for senior girl cadets of the NCC, Antony said amidst thunderous applause.

Explaining the manner in which the 100,000 additional youth would be accommodated, Lt. Gen. Prakash S. Chaudhary, the NCC director general said this would be achieved by re-jigging the training process.

“The training period for senior cadets would be reduced from three to two years but with enhanced content. In this way, we will be able to train additional cadets every year without any extra cost to the exchequer but with no loss in content,” Chaudhury said.

The NCC currently trains 1.3 million boys and girls at 13,661 educational institutions across the country.

Antony also urged the NCC to adapt to changing times to retain its relevance.

“The world order is today marked by an inter-dependence of nations. The NCC must continue to evolve in tune with the changing times,” he maintained.

Antony said that while the NCC strength comprises four percent of the total number of students, it “must devise ways and means to further popularise the NCC in schools and colleges”, and added: “The government is already considering a proposal to enhance the numerical strength in a phased manner.

According to Antony, the NCC’s recent initiatives to start career counselling, and courses in personality development and communication skills would prove beneficial for all cadets, particularly those from the rural areas.

“One of the aims of NCC is to provide the right environment to motivate the youth to join the armed forces. However, the training provided by NCC and imbibing virtues such as discipline, dedication and commitment would definitely help cadets to excel in other walks of life too,” the minister said.

In this context, he quoted Mahatma Gandhi as saying: “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

Earlier Sunday, the NCC director general, along with senior officers and representatives of all its 17 state directorates laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial to the Unknown Soldier at India Gate.

NCC cadets then took an anti-dowry and anti-foeticide pledge in the presence of Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju.