Compulsory NCC for students?

Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
Recently, a 10-day combined annual training camp for the National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets was conducted by the 22 Arunachal Pradesh (I) Company in Pasighat, in which about 500 cadets, including 327 from eight districts of Arunachal and 52 girl cadets from Assam, participated with full josh and enthusiasm. Cadets came from remote places like Anini, Tuting, Yingkiong, Aalo, Daporijo, Basar, Tezu, Mebo and Pasighat.
During the camp, the cadets were trained in drill, rifle drill, field craft, tent pitching, bayonet fighting, leadership, games & sports, literary activities, and cultural activities. The cadets also participated in tree plantation and a swachhta rally. Such was the zeal and vigour that the cadets were marching and playing in rain and under sunlight, day or night. Many cadets were marching in sports/canvas shoes and spontaneously singing patriotic songs.
The NCC is one of the premier organizations of our nation which grooms the youths towards transforming them into responsible citizens. Formed in 1948, the NCC is the largest uniformed youth organization with a strength of about 15 lakh cadets. The motto of the NCC is ‘Unity and Discipline’.
The NCC aims at developing character, comradeship, discipline, a secular outlook, the spirit of adventure, and ideals of selfless service among young citizens. It also aims at creating a pool of organized, trained and motivated youths with leadership qualities in all walks of life. The aims of the NCC are: to create a human resource of organized, trained and motivated youth; to provide leadership in all walks of life and be always available for the service of the nation; to provide a suitable environment to motivate the youth to take up a career in the armed forces.
It is estimated that presently there are about 8000 NCC cadets in Arunachal Pradesh. The NCC units in Arunachal comprise the 22 AP (I) Company in Pasighat, under the Dibrugarh group, the 1 AP Battalion in Naharlagun, and the 2 AP Battalion in Tawang (new raising), under the Tezpur group. Presently, the NCC is predominantly offered to government schools and colleges.
The NCC grooms the youths in fundamental values like discipline, teamsmanship, esprit-de-corps, leadership qualities, patriotism, etc. These are steps towards making them responsible citizens of the nation. To imbibe these important values, some countries have compulsory military service, like Singapore, Israel, Austria, etc.
The youths trained and groomed by the NCC are unlikely to be bad-mannered or unruly, and are unlikely to engage in arson, robbery, violence, etc. NCC cadets are likely to stay away from vices like drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc.
Don’t we want to have disciplined, well-behaved youth? Don’t we want to have smart, obedient youth who are future leaders? With such an important contribution towards nation-building, the question arises as to why the NCC should not be made compulsory for all students for at least a few years? It would be a good beginning to offer the NCC to private schools also, and maybe make the NCC compulsory for all students from Class 6 to Class 8. Any takers?
(The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)