Cutting across party lines, Members of Parliament today urged the government to bring about sweeping changes in the structure and content of the training being imparted to the youth in the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and Sainik Schools to bring them in sync with the contemporary world. They were taking part in a discussion of the Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Defence. The members felt that there is the need for bringing in large number of youth into the framework provided by the NCC and Sainik Schools so that they imbibe sound values and become worthy citizens of the future.
There was unanimity among the members that contemporary societal requirements such as information technology, disaster management and strong leadership traits must form part of the training and education in NCC and Sainik Schools. Some members suggested that participation in NCC by every youth of the country for at least one year in their academic life be made compulsory so that discipline and societal values are absorbed by them.
Earlier opening the discussion the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony said NCC remains in the forefront of social and community development programmes throughout the country. He said NCC cadets provided timely assistance during the Jnaneshwari Express tragedy, cleaned the Mumbai shores during the oil spill and planted one million tree saplings as part of ‘My earth my duty’. Recalling the growth of NCC over the years Shri Antony said, established in 1948 the Corps today has a sanctioned strength of 1.5 million cadets and extends to 615 districts across the country.
Talking about the Sainik Schools Shri Antony said, the schools have entered 50th year of existence. At present, there are 24 schools in 24 states in the country with two schools each in Bihar, Karnataka and Haryana. Over these 50 years, Sainik Schools have prepared over 8,000 officers for the Armed Forces and have also made a substantial contribution to other walks of life.
Speaking at the meeting the Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju said the government is attaching a lot of importance to the two systems and more support are being given to them. He said in the last couple of years, MoD has invested substantial amount in upgrading the infrastructure and training of teachers of Sainik Schools.
The Members of Parliament who attended today’s meeting included Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Shri Ram Chandra Khuntia, Shri HK Dua, Shri Piyush Goyal, Shri Ishwar Lal Jain, Dr. Mahendra Prasad, Shri Shivanand Tiwari, Shri Manish Tewari, Shri Gopal Singh Shekhawat, Shri SS Ramasubbu, Shri Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya and Shri Harshvardhan. Others who attended the meeting included the Defence Secretary Shri Pradeep Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri RK Singh and Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri Shri VK Saraswat.