NATIONAL CADET CORPS EQUIPS YOUTH WITH SKILLS TO THRIVE IN CONTEMPORARY GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
COL(DR) BALDEV SINGH CHOUDHARY
1.Second world war between allied and axis forces was the deadliest war in the human history where in death of 1.6 crore soldiers and officers witnessed only on the side of of allied forces. British Empire whose Sun never used to set those days was ruling over our country during World War II. Britishers felt dire need of of military leaders to lead military campaigns spread almost all over the world.Hence they started University officers training Corps In 1942 in India targeting college students to be groomed as military commanders for active as well as supporting roles under direct control of war office of British Empire controlled Allied Forces. But the university officers training Corps never came up to the Expectations of the Britishers which led to the idea that some better scheme should be formed which would train more young man and in a better way even during peace times. Accordingly, a committee headed by Pandit HN kunzru recommended cadet organisation to be established in schools and colleges at National level.The National Cadet Corps Act was accepted by the governor general on 15 July 1948 and the NCC came into being.
2. During 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan, NCC cadets were the second line of Defence .They organised camp to assist the ordnance factories supplying arms and ammunition to the front and also were used as petrol parties to capture the enemy paratroopers. The NCC cadets also worked hand in hand with the civil defence authorities and actively took part in in rescue work and traffic control. After the 1965 and 1971 Indo Pak wars, the NCC syllabus was revised.Rather than just being the second line of Defence NCC syllabus laid an emphasis on developing officer like and leadership qualities.The military training which the NCC cadets used toreceive was reduced and greater importance given to other areas like social service and Youth Development.Thus,over a period of time focus of NCC training has been shifting from guiding the thoughts and beliefs of youth in militaristic mould to develop potentialities latent in youth with futuristic mindset and inculcate sense of Civic responsibilities in order to harness youth power for national development.
3. It is no denying the fact that youth plays a pivotal role in development of any Nation. we are fortunate that approximately 35% of our population today is youth. NCC is dealing with 1.5 million youth directly every year. This is huge number, greater than Indian military,a whopping national power. It must be known to all that Indian NCC has three wings- army, navel and Air wing. NCC is divided into 17 NCC directorate covering all states and union territories with its headquarter at Delhi. These directorates are further divided into groups and Groups into units. There are 684 Army units, 60 Naval wing units and 61 Air Wing units in the country .The qualified officers and instructors of respective forces train the cadet as per the designed syllabus. In addition to weekly drill, firing, Map Reading and obstacle classes by these instructors, there are indoor classes being taken by associated NCC officers of the respective institutions.
4. In Order to validate the theoretical knowledge of the cadets, NCC conducts more than 2500 training camps every year varying from leadership,advanced leadership, mountaineering,tracking, Rock climbing, paragliding, para dropping,microlight flying, Aeromodelling, hot air ballooning, river rafting, sea surfacing,scuba diving,desert camel safari, national integration and special National Integration camps, Ek Bharat shreshtha Bharat camp, s and youth Exchange program with 11 friendly foreign countries .
5.Those who join NCC are fortunate enough to get military exposure with no liability for active Military Service as they are given exposure of Military Service through Thal sena, Vayu sena, Jal sena , republic day camps and attachment with various military academies like OTA Chennai, IMA Dehradun, Naval Academy, kannur and various army Navy and Airforce units.meeting of the cadets with important national leadership and interaction with senior military commanders during these camps and attachments widen their horizons and it becomes great motivating factor.
6. NCC hierarchy has realised that though academic skills remain important yet they are not sufficient to Foster thoughtful, productive and engaged citizens. .Non academic skills like collaboration, communication ,risk taking abilities, leadership ,teamwork ,interpersonal skills, critical thinking, flexibility, resilience are becoming more important for life of today and they will become even more crucial for the future generation. NO organisation on earth can developed these skills in the youth better than NCC as the syllabus of the corps is designed keeping above factors in mind.The organisation which is known for developing character, comradeship, discipline , the spirit of adventure and service with secular outlook aims at creating a pool of organised,trained and motivated youth with leadership qualities in all walks of life with which they can thrive and serve the nation regardless of the career they choose.
7.Another important factor needs to be considered is that the sweeping changes are taking place all around us and knowledge is increasing by leaps and bounds. As per one estimate 30 to 40% skills that are considered important in today’s workforce will have to be realigned with the new skill sets to keep pace with development taking place in robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous transport, advanced biotechnology and genomics. This will transform the way we live and work,some job will disappear, others will grow and jobs that doesn’t exist today will become commonplace. In such creative futuristic scenario, multinational companies are working fast paced to have edge over others in this cut throat competition era. Here come the requirement of Manpower which can work in multiethnic, multinational , multilingual, multicultural, multiregional environment effectively. NCC is one of the potent youth orgnisatons of india with capacity and capability to provide such human resource. As we know our nation is the most diverse country on the earth and NCC is such an organisation which put 1.5 million youth together from backgrounds as mentioned above from all nook and corner of the country and trained by competent military officers and instructors in completely secular and most apolitical environment to be tolerant to all kind of diversities and flexible to mould themselves as per the requirement of the situations with futuristic and innovative mindsets and ever ready to take risk. Boys and Girls cadets coming out from the furnace of ncc, become true national assets with global outlook and they not only survive but Shine in all walks of life wherever they go.
8. I urge the youth of the nation to join this wonderful organisation to acquire skills which are needed today to thrive in life in this global environment. I also request National readership, policy makers and administrators to make NCC compulsory for all schools and colleges of the country to put the nation on Fastrack development.The investment in such education for youth development will have positive dividend for sure as it will improve quality of the future citizens . Quality of any Nation depends upon the quality of its people, more so on the quality of the youth.
Col (Dr) Baldev Singh Choudhary is a commanding officer of one of the NCC units in Bihar & Jharkhand NCC Directorate . He has vast experience of conducting and attending various National NCC Camps including SAARC Nations NCC youth exchange programme at Kathmandu , Nepal.He is Doctorate in Education with masters in military Psychology and PG Dip in Journalism and mass communication.