World’s largest voluntary organization, where cadets are recruited from all over India, through schools, colleges, universities and given basic military training. NCC aims to develop qualities of character, courage, discipline, comradeship among other qualities and skills. Organizing trained and motivated so they could adapt leadership in every aspect of all their lives. NCC was first formed with the National Cadet Corps act of 1948,15th July. To know more about NCC, visit: https://indiancc.nic.in/
Goa Chronicle spoke to Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich to understand the substance and the value NCC holds
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich was commissioned into the 16th Battalion of the MADRAS Regiment in Jun 1986. An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy Dehradun he has attended all important mandatory courses of instructions, which are related to weaponry and tactics being an infantry officer. The notable amongst them being the Anti-tank Course, Combat Team Commander Course and the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington. He has thereafter attended the prestigious Command and General Staff College at the Fuehrungs Academy, Hamburg, Germany. He has also attended the prestigious Higher Command Course in Mhow and National Defence College Course in New Delhi. Lt Gen Tarun Aich is a postgraduate and holds a M Phil in Defence and Strategic Studies from the Madras University. Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich has been an Instructor in the Indian Military Academy, has held the appointment of a Brigade Major of a Brigade and General Staff Officer -1 in the Military Intelligence Directorate. He has tenanted the appointment of Colonel (General Staff) of an Offensive Formation in the plains sector, Colonel General Staff (Planning) of a Command Headquarter and has been the Deputy Director General, Canteen Services. Having a rich and varied experience of serving in different terrains. He has commanded his Battalion in the Siachen Glacier and in the intense counter terrorism environment of the Valley Sector in Kashmir. He has commanded a brigade in the Western Theatre, which is part of a Strike Corps. He has also been the Brigadier General Staff of the esteemed Indian Military Academy, has also commanded the Reorganized Army Plains Infantry Division in the desert sector. After his tenure in the deserts, the General Officer has commanded the prestigious High-Altitude Warfare School at Gulmarg. Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich has taken over as the 33rd Director General, National Cadet Corps on 01 Jan 2021.
Goa Chronicle: Sir a host of prominent dignitaries and citizens have been members of the NCC during their early formative years including Subhash Chandra Bose, PM Modi, sportspersons like Col R Rathore, Hima Das, Kiran Bedi, entertainer Jaya Bachan (who was also the best cadet in the RD Parade in 1966), late Sushma Swaraj and former Chiefs and Marshal of the IAF Arjan Singh to name a few? To what extent do they owe their success to NCC?
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: NCC aims at developing character, comradeship, discipline, a secular outlook, the spirit of adventure and ideals of selfless service amongst young citizens. Further, it aims at creating a pool of organized, trained and motivated youth with leadership qualities in all walks of life, who will serve the Nation regardless of which career they choose. NCC is certainly a contributing factor in every cadet’s life irrespective of which ever field he or she excels in.
Goa Chronicle: How far has the Self-financing scheme initiated in NCC in 2019 met the aspirations of the states seeking to absorb and train additional NCC cadets in their respective educational institutions? Has additional permanent Instructional staff and infrastructure been provided for the purpose of imparting quality education?
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: (a) In order to meet increased demand of NCC from large number of educational institutions, ‘Out of Turn’ allotment of NCC under Fully Self-Financing Scheme (FSFS) was introduced for Senior Division (SD)/ Senior Wing (SW) on 13 Dec 2019. A total of 01 Lakh Cadet Vacancies were allotted under this scheme to Schools/ Colleges who are desirous to join NCC and ready to bear all the expenditure on their own. The scheme has received an overwhelming response within a short span of time in spite of COVID 19 restrictions. A total of 502 private Schools and Colleges have already opted for NCC under this scheme and a total of 54035 SD/SW cadet vacancies have been allotted. The scheme is gaining wide popularity across the country and the additional demand over and above the allotted strength is being received from many States.
- Under FSFS scheme, the institute has to provide Associate NCC Officer (ANO), Girl/Boy Cadet Administrator (GCA/BCA) and Ex-Servicemen (ESM) to conduct Institutional and Camp Training. Training on small arms is provided by Permanent Instructor (PI) Staff of the concerned NCC unit.
- FSFS for Junior Division (JD)/Junior Wing (JW) has also been launched on similar lines as SD/SW on 03 May 2021 wherein additional One Lakh JD/JW cadet vacancies have been allotted and distributed to the State Directorates.
Goa Chronicle: Sir are there plans to raise additional Directorates as there are just 17 Directorates to cover all states and UT of India? Example being NE States are under one Directorate.
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: At present, there are 17 NCC State Directorates which cover all States/ Union Territories and the present organization is considered adequate. There are no plans at present to raise any new State Directorate. However, since 2010, in order to increase the footprint of NCC and to address voids in nationwide coverage, 49 New NCC units and 4 New Group HQs have been raised under 2 lakh cadet expansion plans. In addition to this, One Lakh cadet expansion in Border/Coastal districts was announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 15 Aug 2020 during his Independence Day Speech. Under Border /Coastal expansion scheme, Army NCC, Naval NCC and Air Force NCC units have been upgraded to major units with an aim to provide NCC to Schools and Colleges situated in close vicinity to Border and Coastal areas.
Goa Chronicle: Sir how do you ensure quality of training instructors? Do you have regular “train the trainer” concept to maintain high standards of training?
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: (a)Training is the bedrock of NCC and the most important activity. The concept of ‘Train the Trainers’ is given utmost importance to ensure that the instructors i.e. Associate NCC Officers (ANO) and Permanent Instructor (PI) Staff are well trained and are abreast with latest training methodologies.
- NCC has two Officer Training Academies (OTA) i.e. OTA Kamptee for training of Male ANOs and PI Staff and OTA Gwalior for training of Female ANOs. A team of dedicated instructors, impart quality training at both these academies based on ever evolving training curriculum.
- Training of Associate NCC Officers (ANO).
- The ANOs have to undergo Pre-Commission Courses (Duration of 60 days for Junior Division /Junior Wing ANO and 90 days for Senior Division /Senior Wing ANO), at these academies before they commence their duties as instructors to the cadets.
- Regular refresher courses as per laid down policies are also conducted for the ANOs at these academies.
(d) Training of Permanent Instructor (PI) Staff: All the PI staff joining the NCC undergo a two weeks Orientation Course at their respective units/group Headquarter within six months of their reporting. Certain selected Permanent Instructor staff are also trained for three weeks duration at Officers Training Academy Kamptee on an Instructor Course, which qualifies them to conduct Orientation Course in their respective Directorates.[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]
Goa Chronicle: What is the role of NCC in routine Nation building and how do you see these cadets contributing to same? What initiatives have been taken to augment these efforts?
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: Contribution of Youth in Nation Building– The vision of our country lies in the hands of our youth. They are filled with tremendous energy and high ambitions. It will be a great wastage of human resources if the youth are not given an opportunity to exercise their talent. Youth is that spark which needs no ignition. The spirit of patriotism ignited by youth of our nation keeps the country together. The youth can contribute in following ways:
- Security: The nation today faces security concerns, both externally and internally. This problem can be solved through proper channelizing of youth power into the national main strea The youth are the pulse and strength of the nation and their energy and their balanced approach can help in bringing stability to the nation and help in thwarting selfish designs of the enemy. The thoughts and actions of youth have the power to enhance internal and external security of the country.
- Social and Cultural: The youth have a special responsibility and should actively participate in the development plans of the nation. Youth should be acquainted with the major problems being faced by the country. They should study the basic problem of health, environment, nutrition, lack of education, economic backwardness, ignorance, dowry-deaths etc. Our society is experiencing a constant change and faces the conflicting ideologies of the past vis-à-vis the W Our past with a shadow of casteism, superstition and religious overture needs a balanced approach and they can play a very important role in educating the general public about the misnomers relating to superstition. They can encourage and ensure lateral, vertical and diagonal inter-mingling of people to mesh them into true citizens of India. They can establish good rapport with the people so as to involve them in active participation in social work which will help to make society a better place to live in. Also, the Indian society with a large percentage of youth in its population must be made aware of the various social and cultural developments happening in the country.
(b) Cadet’s Role: The NCC has been instrumental in imparting quality training to millions of boys and girls and developing the personality of our youth, many of whom have marched ahead in life and excelled in their chosen fields thereby, contributing immensely towards nation building and national integrity. Imbibed with the spirit of patriotism and selfless service, NCC cadets have been contributing towards strengthening forces of national unity, equality and secularism. This is an ever-on-going process and the organization remains committed to strive for its very best in this noble endeavour. Every NCC Cadet as an individual can contribute substantially in the process of nation building. The following initiatives have been launched in this regard:-
- Ex NCC YOGDAN: Commenced in Apr 2020 in support of Civil Administration during outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Till date approx Three lac cadets and staff have been employed in this noble cause.
- Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat (EBSB) Camps: The EBSB camps are centrally organised camps which promote unity & national integration among the cadets of various states. Since April 2020 these camps are being conducted online due to COVID situation.
- Fit India Campaign: NCC cadets are at the fore front in promoting the Fit India campaign amongst the masses of the country.77 Lakh Cadets participated in Fit India Run in the year 2020 along with 19 Lakh Families & friends.
- International Yoga Day: 12.33 Lakh Cadets & Families had participated in year 2021.
- Measures Taken By NCC On Environmental Issues 2020-21
(aa) Tree Plantation Drive. Tree Plantation Drives are carried out by NCC regularly. Over 5 Lakh Saplings have been planted by NCC in this drive since June 2020.
(ab) Cleaning of Rivers & Water Bodies. Along with NCC Day celebrations (29 Nov), cleanliness drive week was conducted for cleaning of Rivers & Water bodies by NCC Cadets at Pan India level.
(c) Social Service and Community Development (SSCD) Activities Calendar 2021-22. SSCD activities like Swachhta Pakhwada, Plog runs, Blood Donation camps, Cleaning and maintenance of Statues of ‘Braveheart’s’ and Eminent Personalities, form a major portion of NCC training curriculum. Following important SSCD activities have been carried out:-
- Ministry of Defence Swachhta Pakhwada (01-15 Dec 2020). 5 Lakh NCC cadets participated in the ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ in conjunction with all the youth organisations. The focus of this ‘Pakhwada’ was on ‘Plastic Waste Management’ and ‘No to Single Use Plastic’. Following actions were also taken by NCC :-
(aa) Plastic Clever Schools/ Colleges . ANOs and cadets to encourage their institutions to reduce use of Plastic.
(ab) Story of Plastics. Cadets to upload stories on NCC Digital Forum on alternatives to plastic and on how to change ways of using and disposing plastic.
(ac) Break Free From Plastics. Undertake initiatives and spread awareness on tackling plastic pollution.
- Anti-Pollution Drive. As part of National Road Safety Month observed from 18th January 2021 to 17th February 2021, NCC cadets actively carried out extensive awareness drive to switch off the ignition of vehicles when they halt at red traffic light.
- Atulya Ganga Mission. NCC actively supported the ‘Atulya Ganga Mission’ where in 5200 Km Parikrama of Ganga was conducted by Veterans over a period of 8 months spreading awareness of ‘Namami Gange’, keeping Ganga Clean and collection of water samples.
Goa Chronicle: With the type of modern-day challenges facing nations in the so called “grey zone” such as COVID and cyber threat to name a few, how is training geared up to impart appropriate vocational knowledge?
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: (a) To overcome the challenge of COVID, the training curriculum has been digitised and NCC Training App Version has been launched. The cadets are undergoing online institutional training since the restrictions of COVID have forced the closure of educational institutes. In order to meaningfully contribute to the society during the pandemic, social service is being conducted after being fully vaccinated. Moreover, the cadets are trained in COVID protocols and precautions through iGoT training before being deployed.
(b) ‘Cyber and Mobile Security Awareness’ has been introduced as part of curriculum for cadets in revised syllabus and regular sensitization regarding cyber threats is being done in various forums.
Goa Chronicle: Sir the decision to classify NCC as an elective subject is laudable and seems to be a step in the right direction. How is this new proposal an improvement over the existing voluntary option of joining NCC, as the decision to join NCC still remains optional as before? Do you feel that the incentives have to be widened to encourage youth to take up NCC as an elective?
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: (a)The decision to classify NCC as an elective subject is based on the latest National Education Policy 2020 (NEP-2020) which has proposed to remove the difference between extra-curricular, co-curricular and curricular activities and offer all such activities as credit courses under Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). Further, Sec 11.8 of NEP mandates all Higher Education Institutes to include credit-based courses and projects in the areas of community engagement and service. Hence, it is important for NCC to shift from extra-curricular to curricular activity and be offered as a General Elective subject / credit course in colleges across India under the Choice Based Credit System, in line with NEP 2020 with the aim of harnessing full potential of NCC’s capacity in youth development.
(b) The decision to join NCC will still remain voluntary and presently, NCC as an elective subject will be implemented in Universities and Colleges having NCC. Till date 1133 out of 5095 colleges having NCC have incorporated NCC as an Elective Subject. NCC as a General Elective subject will have the following advantages: –
(i) There will be a paradigm shift in NCC’s positioning from extra-curricular to mainstream activity which will find favor with large majority of student population and cadets.
(ii) Cadets will derive direct academic credits from NCC training, including absence for camps, Social Service & Community Development (SSCD), etc., which was missing hitherto fore.
(iii) Strengthen NCC training by having more accountability and expectation of students.
(iv) Encourages educational institutes to take ownership of NCC training.
(v) Makes military trainers and college teachers more accountable.
(vi) NCC Cadets do not have to select any other subject as General Elective.
Goa Chronicle: Congratulations on an excellent website!! However, many NGOs and societies would seek the involvement of NCC Cadets in joining in community programmes for upliftment and betterment. How one requisition services of NCC for such efforts does, is there any unified portal for same?
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: There is no policy on requisition of NCC cadets by NGOs and Societies and there is no unified portal for the same.
Goa Chronicle: What is your vision for the future of NCC? What are the initiatives in this regard?
Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich: (a) Vision: ‘Empower volunteer youth to become potential leaders and responsible citizens of the country’
- Initiatives in this Regard.
(i) Implementation of NCC as an Elective Subject/ Choice Based Credit Course in all Universities and Colleges having NCC – Importance to NCC and increasing accountability.
(ii) More importance to Personality Development and improvement of Leadership qualities of the NCC Cadets to include Team Building and Collaboration, Interpersonal communication, Decision Making and imbibing of Morals, Ethics and Values.
- Impetus to Youth Exchange Programs (YEP) with foreign countries to increase exposure and picking up of best practices. Presently, the YEP is being increased from 10 to 15 Countries. In the forthcoming Republic Day Celebrations of the NCC in Jan 2022, 25 Countries from all the inhabited continents in the World are being invited to attend the event.
- Increase awareness of Fundamental Duties amongst cadets, which are the guiding beacon to the youth and contain all that we aspire and hope that every citizen of the country should Awareness and inculcating the essence of these Fundamental Duties is being done through ‘Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat Camps’, Debates, Essay Competitions, Digital forum and other activities.
- Inclusion of special skills training like Crisis and Disaster Management, Environmental Protection and Ecology, Preventive and Primary Health, Social responsibility and Community Development, Fire Fighting and Yoga.
[author title=”Shefali Kochhar,” image=”http://goachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Screenshot_20210321-160233_LinkedIn.jpg”]Journalist, Goa Chronicle .
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