The National Cadet Corps – NCC, is a part of the Indian military cadet corps, which comprises of the Army, Navy and Air Force, who are involved in training the youth of India, in basic military, small arms and parade. Thereby they are groomed into patriotic citizens. The NCC was formed through the National Cadet Corps Act of 1948, and started on July 15th, 1948.
A similar movement existed in India, before independence, known as Scouts, which was founded by the British Army officer, Baden Powell. Powell had found his inspiration from the Indian Swastika symbol, to denote gratitude to those who had offered help to the Boys Scouts, and thus became a part of their brotherhood. The Swastika symbol was an important symbol of the scouts group then.
More on Scouts and Swastika in our book, Brand Bharat – Vol-3 – Unique to India.
NCC which was started post-independence seeks to inculcate unity and discipline among the youth. These two words are inscribed, in Samskrt, in its logo.
NCC Role in War times
NCC plays a vital role in providing passive defence, during any war. The sacrifices of our NCC cadets were in the forefront in our victories against Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.
In the year 1965, Pakistan tried to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir with “Operation Gibraltar” and provoke the people against Indian government It was NCC, the National Cadet Corps, who then took an active part in this war.
Passive Defence provided by NCC Cadets
Unimaginably, those cadets who joined hand-in-hand with the Indian Armed forces were just around 15 years in age. The cadets served their country in passive Air Defence including,
- Rescue work
- First aid
- Evacuation of casualties
- Removal of debris
- Traffic control
- Maintenance of essential services such as
- Motor transport,
- Pioneer and engineer services,
- Water supply
- Power supply.
Our Prime Minister too
India’s Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi is also an NCC cadet.
Other prominent personalities who are an Alumni of NCC include,
- Sushma Swaraj, the current external affairs minister of India
- Morarji Desai, former prime minister of India
- Jaya Bachan,
- Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
- Budh Dev Bhattacharya, former chief minister of West Bengal
- Actor R. Madhavan – He has been on the international exchange program of NCC to Canada.
Awarded with Ashok Chakra -III
The majority of the brave soldiers, who held weapons in extreme weather were NCC cadets at one phase of their life. For this, the NCC cadet was awarded with the Ashok Chakra Class III during the 1965 Indo Pakistan War. This award is equivalent to Shaurya Chakra now.
Fire Fighting by NCC cadets during the War
The Pakistani soldiers who didn’t have the courage to fire a bullet standing in front of the Indian Army resorted to cowardly tactics–which it has carried on till date. The Pakistani planes carried out an air attack on a goods train carrying inflammable material like ammunition, diesel and kerosene oil. This would have had turned out into a disaster. But all thanks to NCC Sergeant Pratap Singh who led a team of fifty cadets to the railway station and brought the fire under control. The risks that NCC cadets took in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, for the cause of our country, should never be forgotten.
In 1971 War
Not just in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, but even during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, NCC cadets were the second line of defense and organized a lot of camps to assist ordinance factories, in supplying arms and ammunition. Not just this, the cadets were used as patrol parties to capture enemy paratroopers.
NCC Role during Peace times
NCC role is not just limited to War times, but during Peace times also, they indulge in various social activities, some of which include,
- Disaster Management Relief
- Tree Plantation
- Slum clearance
- Blood Donation
- Visit to Old Age Homes
- Healthcare initiatives
- Cleanliness Drive
NCC Youth Exchange Program
Every year, selected NCC cadets participate in Youth Exchange Program which is a country to country exchange of cadets belonging to NCC of friendly countries. They participate in NCC activities of the host country to create an increased awareness and appreciation of each other’s socio-economic and cultural realities. NCC has a vibrant Youth Exchange Program with 11 countries.
Republic Day Parade
Republic Day is an important function in which the NCC cadet takes part in the national capital as well as in every state capital. The NCC Parade is one of the Parades in display during the Republic Day function. The NCC contingent which marches during the Republic Day parade is formed up by the cadets who attend the Republic Day Cadet camp.
Salute their Valour
The contributions of the NCC cadets during War and Peace times cannot be overlooked, and we need to honour them on this day, when the NCC was formed.
These cadets were the same kids who never stayed away from their parents for weeks and weeks. But when the nation demanded their service, they didn’t step back, especially during the war times. Today, our every breath is filled with the valour of the NCC cadets.