Come the fourth Sunday of November and the largest youth organisation of the world celebrates its raising day. The celebration is the commemoration of the raising of the first battalion of the NCC (National Cadet Corps) on the fourth Sunday of November in the year 1948.
The National Cadet Corps came into existence under an Act of Parliament passed on 16 July 1948. The aims of the NCC have been modified four times since its inception with the final revision coming in 1988:
- To develop qualities of character, courage, comradeship, discipline, secular outlook, spirit of adventure and the ideals of selfless service among the youth.
- To create a human resource of organised, 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.
The genesis of the NCC, however, can be traced to as far back as 1917 when a University Corps was formed to supplement the shortage in the Army which was changed to the University Training Corps in 1920. The organisation was modified further in 1942, to be called the University Officers Training Corps until the National Cadet Corps came up in 1948 and a separate Girls’ Division was also created the same year. For two years the NCC had only Army Divisions but at intervals of two years each there was an addition of the Air Wing of the NCC and finally a Naval Wing in 1952.
NCC training was made compulsory in 1963 and remained so till 1968 after which it was voluntary on the part of students of schools, colleges and universities to join the training. Today, the strength of NCC cadets stands close to 15,00,000 to become the largest youth organisation in the world.
The motto of the NCC has also undergone a series of changes and it was only as late as 1980 that it was finalised as ‘Unity and Discipline’.
While overtly, the NCC training appears to be Armed Force-oriented, the broader aim succinctly is to train individuals to be better future citizens of the country. The NCC conducts examinations for its cadets to award them ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ certificates and the NCC ‘C’ certificate holders have an advantage in joining the Army, Navy or the Air Force as they can appear directly before the Service Selection Boards without appearing for any written examination. However, there isn’t an iota of doubt that the NCC training adds to a student’s self-confidence and determination to achieve one’s ambition.