NCC Reforms

Ministry of Defence constitutes high-power committee to revamp NCC

Published : September 17, 2021 12:44 IST

NCC cadets during the rehearsal for the 75th Independence Day celebrations, at Dhalpur Maidan in Kullu on August 13. Photo: PTI

Chairman of Mahindra Group Anand Mahindra, former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Member of Parliament and silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Retd) have been named in a 15-member high-level expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Defence that will comprehensively review the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in order to make it more relevant in these changed times.

Chairman of Mahindra Group Anand Mahindra, former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Member of Parliament and silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Retd) have been named in a 15-member high-level expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Defence that will comprehensively review the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in order to make it more relevant in these changed times.

The committee, which will function under the chairmanship of Baijayant Panda, former Member of Parliament from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will suggest measures to empower NCC cadets to contribute more effectively towards nation-building and national developmental efforts in various sectors. The Committee will propose ways for gainful engagement of NCC alumni for betterment of the organisation. The committee will also study and recommend best practices of similar international youth organisations for inclusion in NCC curriculum.

Besides Rathore, Dhoni and Mahindra, the other members of the committee are:Vinay Sahasrabuddhe (Member of Parliament); Sanjeev Sanyal (Principal Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance); Najma Akhtar (Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia); Vasudha Kamat (Former Vice Chancellor, SNDT Women’s University); Mukul Kanitkar (National Organising Secretary, Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal); Maj. Gen. Alok Raj (Retd); Milind Kamble (Chairman, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry); Rituraj Sinha (Managing Director, SIS India Limited); Vedika Bhandarkar (Chief Operating Officer,Water.org); Anand Shah (Chief Executive Officer, Databook); and Mayank Tewari (Joint Secretary, Training, Ministry of Defence).

The NCC, the world’s largest voluntary uniformed youth organisation was raised by Parliamentary Act No XXXI in 1948 with 20,000 cadets. Today, it has a sanctioned strength of 15 lakh cadets, all of whom undergo basic military-like training for two years in the junior wing and three years in the senior divisions. The NCC aims at developing character, discipline, a secular outlook and ideals of selfless service amongst young citizens. It also aims to create a pool of organised, trained, and motivated youth with leadership qualities in all walks of life.

NCC as an elective subject in schools

Earlier this week, during a three-day visit to the Karnataka and Goa NCC Directorate in Bengaluru, Lt Gen. Tarun Kumar Aich, Director General of NCC, reiterated that the NCC is being offered as a General Elective Credit Course (GECC) under the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which aims to remove the hard separation between extra-curricular, co-curricular and curricular activities in schools.

Though the proposal to accept the NCC as an elective subject on a voluntary basis is not new, having been first suggested through a circular issued by the UGC and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 2013 and again in 2016, it has now gained traction.

The Director General NCC disclosed that over 7,800 schools and colleges across the country were awaiting affiliation of the NCC. He also disclosed that plans were afoot to expand the footprint of the NCC in the coastal and border areas of various States and to increase the authorised strength of the NCC cadre in a phased manner. Said Lt Gen Aich: “The FSFS (Fully Self-Financing Scheme) is yet another step aimed at enhancing the number of NCC cadets. The scheme provides a unique opportunity to a number of schools and colleges to include NCC in their curriculum.”

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