The National Cadet Corps (NCC) is the Indian military cadet corps with its head Quarters at New Delhi. NCC is open to all of the students of school and college on voluntary basis. NCC was conceived in 1917 when India Defence Act was promulgated with an objective of making up the deficiencies in the Armed Forces by raising the University Corps. In 1920 the India Territorial Act was passed and University Corps was replaced by University Training Corps. The Cadets in the NCC are given basic military training in small arms and parades. The officers or the cadets undergoing NCC training have no liability for active military service once they complete.
In 1942, the National Cadet Corps was renamed University Officers Training Corps. In 1946, a committee under Pandit H N Kunzru was set up at the behest of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru with a focus to formulate the establishment of an organization that would train and motivate the Indian youth to become better citizens and leaders in all walks of life, as a result of which the National Cadet Corps came into effect on July 16, 1948 with the declaration of the NCC Act XXXI of 1948 and the NCC was placed under the Ministry of Defence.
National Cadet Corps can be termed as a Tri-Services Organization as it comprises of the Army, Navy and Air Force. The main aim of National Cadet Corps is to groom the youth of the country into disciplined, responsible and patriotic citizens. The National Cadet Corps in India is a voluntary organization which recruits cadets from high schools, colleges and Universities all over India and gives those volunteers’ military training. NCC inculcates among the youth a sense of nationalism and secular outlook that would contribute towards the building of a stronger nation and apart from that also provides a common platform for individual up-lift of masses through the process of channelizing the energy of the young Indians in a constructive purpose. National Cadet Corps helps the youth to realize the relationship between man and the community, between community and nature and their inter-dependability.
Though after the completion of the NCC training volunteers’ are not liable to join military, but still the candidates with their valid NCC certificates are given preference over normal candidates during selections based on the achievements in the corps. There is no compulsion for those active in the NCC to pursue with a career in the defense field, but yes, they do stand a better chance given preference over normal candidates during job selections.
History of NCC
The National Cadet Corps in India was formed with the National Cadet Corps Act of 1948 with an objective of developing qualities of character, courage, comradeship, discipline, secular outlook, spirit of adventure, sportsmanship and the ideals of selfless service among the youth to make them useful citizens and also to encourage them to take up career in armed forces. It was raised on 15 July 1948. The origin of NCC, which started with the ‘University Corps’ was created under the Indian Defence Act 1917, and its objective was to make up the shortage of the Indian Army.
It was in 1920, when the Indian Territorial Act was passed and the ‘University Corps’ was replaced by the University Training Corps (UTC) with an objective to raise the status of the UTC and make it more attractive for the national youth. The UTC Officers and cadets dressed like the army and it was a significant step towards the Indenisation of armed forces.
A committee headed by Pandit H.N. Kunzru recommended that there should be a cadet organization established in schools and colleges at a national level to inculcate military training to youth. The National Cadet Corps Act was accepted by then Governor General and on 15 July 1948 the National Cadet Corps came into existence.
The Girls Division of NCC was raised in 1949 with a vision to give equal opportunities to school and college going girls and also to encourage their participation towards national cause. It was in year 1950 that, the NCC was given an inter-service image when the Air Wing was added, followed by the Naval Wing two years later in 1952. Same year, the NCC curriculum was extended to include community development as well as social service activities as a part of the NCC syllabus. Following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, to meet the requirement of the Nation, the NCC training was made compulsory in 1963, however this compulsion didn’t last long, and again in the year 1968, the Corps was made a voluntary organization.
It was during the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 as well as the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971, NCC cadets were second line of defense and organized a lot of camp to assist ordnance factories, supplying arms and ammunition to the front and also were used as patrol parties to capture enemy paratroopers. The NCC cadets were actively involved and also worked hand in hand with the Civil defense authorities and actively took part in all the rescue works as well as the traffic control. After the wars of 1965 and 1971 a need for revision of the NCC syllabus was felt, rather than just being second line of defense, NCC syllabus laid greater stress on developing quality of leadership and officer like qualities among those undergoing the training. The military training which the NCC cadets received was reduced and greater importance was given to other areas like social service as well as the youth management.
The National Cadet Corps India is headed by a Director General, an Army Officer of the rank of Lieutenant General. Director General, the supreme head is basically responsible for the functioning of the National Cadet Corps in the country through the National Cadet Corps Headquarters situated at Delhi. He is the person authorized for making some important decisions at his level. The NCC India is further divided into different levels across the country for better management and training. For the sake of convenience and an effective management, the country has been divided into 17 Directorates covering all States and Union Territories of the country. Each of the State National Cadet Corps Directorate Headquarters controls two to fourteen Group Headquarters. While Brigadiers or their equivalent commands all the Directorates, the Groups are commanded by Colonels or equivalents from the Air Force and the Navy, NCC Units are commanded by Major/Lieutenant Colonel or their equivalents.
The directorate general is supreme, controlling all the directorates, which are responsible for managing all the groups. These groups are further made up of different units and can be divided as senior divisions or the junior divisions. This senior and junior division can be referred to as college level and school level training given to NCC candidates.
National Cadet Corps is a voluntary organization for the students of different schools and colleges under the program. The minimum age limit for school students to join NCC is 13; all students above the age of 13 years can join as junior cadets and students from class XI and above, can join this organization as senior cadets. This organization from its humble beginning of 32500 senior cadets and 135000 junior cadets has achieved a massive growth and trained more than eleven lakhs cadets with 4.33 lakh senior cadets and 7.3 lakh junior cadets. Presently, NCC covers about 4560 colleges and 7040 schools all over India and near about 1400 schools and colleges are in the waiting list to join NCC and just waiting for some final approvals. The main aim of the training given is to:
Develop in youth the quality of character, courage, comradeship, discipline, secular outlook, and spirit of adventure, sportsmanship and the ideals of selfless service among the youth to make them useful citizens who can serve their country effectively and passionately.
Organize, train and motivated youth, to provide leadership qualities in every sphere of life including the Armed Forces and to empower them in such a way that they are always ready to serve their nation.
Motivate the youth of our country to take up a career in the Armed Forces. Also providing such training at early stage gives in a great sense of satisfaction and patriotic feeling, youth become really dedicated towards nation and is ready to face any challenge, whether natural or man-made.
Training candidates are trained in drill, shooting, Physical fitness, map reading, First aid, Gliding/Flying, boat pulling, sailing and camp training covering nearly all the basics of military training in Army, Navy and Air Force. The NCC training is mostly carried out in schools and colleges by the cadets. The training is not really tough, and can be accomplish by some normal abilities only. It is not necessary that you need to have some extra-ordinary skills or physique to complete NCC training successfully; some normal skills will help you to get through successfully. All that you need is a firm determination. Depending upon the type of service that cadets are being taught about, basic knowledge of that service is also imparted to the cadets that may include activities like gliding, powered flying for Air Wing cadets and boat pulling, sailing for Naval Wing cadets form part of institutional training. These activities comprise approximately 50% of the entire syllabus that is taught to an NCC candidate.
Social Service Activities by NCC
One of the major aims of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) is to provide some effective social service towards the citizens of the country. NCC has adopted community development activities with the aim of absorbing amongst cadets selfless service toward the society, importance of self help, need to protect the environment and to assist weaker sections of the society towards their uplift. This is done through various program aimed at helping out society and in the mean time building a zeal among the candidates towards helping out their society, community and country. The activities of the NCC towards social service may include:
Providing adult-education at various camps and seminars
Tree plantation drives to ensure climatic balance
Blood donation camps aimed at collecting blood to help out those in urgent need
Campaigning against the Dowry in the form of different Rallies
Anti Female Infanticide Pledge
Anti Leprosy Drive to educate people about the disease and also giving information about cure
AIDS Awareness Rally to spread information about this disease and also giving information about some prevention tips
Visits to Old Age Homes and spending some quality time there with senior citizens
Providing help in slum clearance
Disaster Management & Relief at the time of war and epidemics
Youth is the major factor that determines the overall success rate of a nation. An educated and empowered youth power may drive a nation towards success while negative forces among them may drive towards some acts like drug addiction, terrorism or robberies. NCC plays a very crucial role in inculcating social ethos in the youth of the country and harnesses their energy towards something useful for them as well as society. NCC undertakes various social service activities like aid to the administration in times of calamities, preservation of environment and ecology, blood donation campaigns, literacy programs and construction and cleanliness drives and provides the youth of country an effective direction towards the self improvement and community service as well. In the mean time they are also taught that to be successful in life, one has to be bold to take calculated risk even at great discomfort.
Total training period for Senior Division and Senior Wing is 2 years. Though, it is also allowed to extend this period to 1 more year, however training period for Junior Division and Junior Wing is of 2 years. Every cadet of the Senior or Junior Division has to undergo service training for a period of at least 4 hours per week during the training year. However there is no training carried out during the vacation time at the college or school through which a cadet is enrolled. Out of the entire training period, every cadet of the Senior and Junior Division has to undergo service training for a minimum period of 75% of total hours during the annual college and school session, which is compulsory for every cadet, except in the case of some medical case. Every cadet during the training year to attend an annual training camp of 14 days duration in the case of Senior Division and of 10 days duration in the case of a Junior Division.
Youth Exchange Program
An important part of NCC training also includes the Youth Exchange Program. There are many YEP programs underway. Youth Exchange Program between NCC of India and youth organizations of other countries are undertaken yearly form past many years and this includes mutual visits for up to 24 days in other country, in which cadets undertake billeting families, community work projects, educational activities etc. The exchange program is aimed to develop mutual respect, adaptability in new condition, training to work among new people, learn self-discipline, cross cultural learning and above all, love for one’s country. Currently India has Youth Exchange Program with different countries across the globe. These include Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Maldives, Nepal, Singapore, Sri-Lanka, United Kingdom and Vietnam etc. These exchange programs with different countries give the youth of our nation an enhanced understanding of the international environment and help them to become effective leaders in the future.