“…India needs youth with knowledge, capacity for hard work and love for the nation and above all disciplined citizens with value system. In my view, two years NCC Training must be made compulsory for all eligible students, both for boys and girls at the school or college level.”
--Extracts from the address of His Excellency
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,
the then President of India, to NCC Cadets on 29 Nov 2004.
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) is not a Para-Military organization. It is a youth development movement. It has enormous potential for nation building. The NCC provides opportunities to the youth of the country for their all-round development with a sense of Duty and Discipline, Commitment, Dedication, and Moral Values so that they become able leaders and useful citizens.
The NCC provides exposure to the cadets in a wide range of activities., with a distinct emphasis on Social Services, Discipline and Adventure Training. It has emerged as the biggest uniformed youth organization of the country symbolizing its motto Unity and Discipline.
The expenditure of the Program me is shared by both Central and State Governments.
The NCC is open to all regular students of schools and colleges on a voluntary basis. The officers and cadets have no liability for active military service.
The Corps which started in a small way with a cadet strength of 1.67 lakhs ( only 32,500 Senior Division and 1,35,00 Junior Division cadets) has now grown to 13 lakhs. While this figure by itself is quite substantial, it covers only 3.8% of the eligible student population of our country.
During the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan, NCC cadets were the second line of defence. They organised camps to assist the ordnance factories, supplying arms and ammunition to the front, and also were used as patrol parties to assist in capturing the enemy Paratroopers. The NCC cadets also worked hand-in-hand with the Civil Defence authorities and actively took part in rescue work and Traffic Control.
After the 1971 Indo-Pak War, the NCC syllabus was revised. Rather than training to becoming the second line of defence, NCC syllabus laid greater stress on developing qualities of leadership and Officer-like qualities. The military training which the NCC cadets received was reduced and greater importance was given to other areas like social service and youth-management.
NCC is not an organisation which is to serve as a ‘feeder’, for the entry of students into the Defence Services. It is an organisation to make them useful citizens of the country, irrespective of the vocation they may choose on completion of their studies.
Hence, NCC activities are only a ‘means to an end’; the ‘end’ being the achievement of the “Aims of NCC” in the context of the students.
National Cadet Corps has its genesis in the “ University Corps ” , which was created under the Indian Defence Act, 1917 with the objective to make up the shortages in the then British Indian Army. In 1920, when the Indian Territorial Act was passed , the “University Corps” was replaced by “ University Training Crops (UTC)”. In 1942, the University Training Corps was renamed as the “University Officers’ Training Corps (UOTC)”.
Most of the Universities had a “University Officers Training Corps
( U.O.T.C)” and each one of them had “Indian Air Corps (I.A.T.C)” . Besides, “Sea Scout Units” existed in some parts of the country. There were, in addition, organisations like “Sahayak Sena” and “Social Service League” which, though not strictly youth organisations, provided young men with opportunities of learning the duties of citizenship and developing their personality.
Even though the aforementioned organisations were doing useful work, their numbers were too small for a county of the size of India. Apart form this, the “U.O.T.C” Scheme was found to have deficiencies. In view of these deficiencies, Government of India appointed a Committee in July, 1964 to consider and make recommendations for the establishment, of a Cadet Corps Organisation both in schools and colleges, on a nation wide basis. Pandit H.N.KUNZRU was appointed in September,1964 to chair the Committee.
Recommendations of this Committee paved the way for the formation of the NCC. The Committee submitted it’s recommendations for the establishment of a “National Cadet Corps” in place of “U.O.T.C”.
Thus, the National Cadets Corps came into existence under the National Cadet Corps Act XXXI of 1948 (passed in April, 1948; came into existence on 16th July, 1948 ) under the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Corps was established in July, 1948.
The Corps which started in a small way with a cadet strength of 1.67lakhs (only 32,500 Senior Division and 1,35,00 Junior Division cadets) has now grown to 13 lakhs.The networks of 774 NCC units is spread from offshore Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweeep to the freezing heights of Leh, up in the Himalayas as also from Kutch in the West to Kohima in the East, through 5251 colleges and 8410 school.
The National Cadet Corps was given an inter-Services image in 1950 when the Air Wing was added, followed by the Naval Wing in 1952.
Earlier, in 1949, the Girls’ Division had been brought in to give equal opportunities to the school and college going girls of the country.
In 1952, the NCC curriculum was extended to include the subject of Community Development as a part of the NCC Syllabus.
As a large number of school students wanted to join the Junior Division and as the financial resources (available then) were not sufficient, an Auxiliary Cadet Corps (A.C.C) was formed in 1952 as a supplement to the Junior Division of the N.C.C with the motto: “ Service to the country”. The per capita expenditure on an A.C.C Cadet was much less than for a NCC Cadet.
Subsequently a similar situation arose in respect of Senior Division and to cope up with the large number of applicants, wanting to join this Division, the N.C.C Rifle (N.C.C.R) Units were raised in February, 1960, with a less per capita expenditure as compared to the Senior Division N.C.C.
After the Chinese aggression in 1962, the Ministry of Defence, agreeing with the recommendations of the 'Inter–University Board', made N C C compulsory, in all colleges. Auxiliary Cadet Corps and N.C.C Rifles were merged with the NCC.
After enrolment into N.C.C was made compulsory for all college students, a decline in the efficiency of the Corps was noticeable due to:-
(a) Enrolment of a number of indifferent cadets having no inclination to join NCC.
(b) Lack of adequate number of officers to train the cadets, and
(c) Lack of equipment, weapons and other facilities.
However, the hap-hazard growth of NCC was checked from 1969 on-wards, when many Universities made it optional for the students to join two other parallel organisations, namely, National Service Scheme ( NSS ) and National Sports Organisation (NSO) which were introduced in colleges, making it optional for students to join any one of the three schemes, according to their choice.
In 1972 Government agreed with the recommendations of the
Inter–University Board to make enrolment in NCC voluntary and accordingly reduced the number of cadets to be enrolled in the NCC Senior Division.