The National Cadet Corps (NCC), which is a tri-service organisation that trains and prepares young people in social service, discipline, and adventure training, is planning to increase the number of cadets by 8 lakh, from the current 15 lakh.
Officials from the government said that the expansion is likely to be done in stages over the next few years.
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They said that the plan is to expand the NCC’s reach to more schools, with a focus on far-flung border areas, so that more young people can join and be trained in social service and taught discipline and patriotism.
A government official who knew about the situation said that there was a long list of schools and colleges that wanted to enrol students in NCC but couldn’t because they didn’t have enough resources or teachers. “The expansion will make sure that the number of people on the waiting list goes down and that students from more schools can join NCC,” the official said.
This official says that the expansion is likely to be done by making each NCC battalion as effective as possible in its area of responsibility, without adding more than seven or eight companies to a battalion. He said that the plans to grow will include NCC units of the Army but not naval and air wing units because they need different kinds of gear.
An NCC group can have anywhere from three to fifteen districts and from four to eight battalions. There are 17 NCC directorates all over the country. Each directorate is in charge of three to six groups.
A second official said that each directorate will talk with state governments to figure out how many jobs need to be filled in each state. This information is important for building the expansion plans on.
The official said that the Army’s plans to downsize as a whole mean that the number of permanent instructors at NCC from the Army could go down by about 40%, and options are being talked about to replace them with contract veterans and re-employed officers.
It is also being thought about to hire more associate NCC officers who can teach the cadets about non-core military subjects. A plan to let paramilitary forces join the NCC is also being considered.
Sources say that the cadets’ training structure will be rethought in light of plans for growth and the availability of permanent instructors from the armed forces.
As part of the plans to grow, there are also plans to merge some units, move some units to fill in gaps, and improve directorates that are in charge of too many states at once.
Sources say that all of the NCC’s directorates have been asked to work with the states to get the expansion approved.