The Centre is preparing to restructure the National Cadet Corps, the youth component of the Indian Armed Forces, with three renowned personalities on board (NCC).
Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, and former Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore are among the 16 members who will conduct a full assessment of the NCC to make it more relevant with changing times.
“The Ministry of Defence has formed a High-Level Expert Committee, chaired by former Member of Parliament Shri Baijayant Panda, to conduct a complete assessment of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in order to make it more relevant in changing times,” the ministry said in a statement.
MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Jamia Millia Islamia Vice-Chancellor Professor Najma Akhtar, Vasudha Kamat, Former Vice-Chancellor, SNDT Women’s University, and others are also members of the expert committee.
The group will recommend “steps that will enable NCC cadets to participate more effectively to nation-building and national development initiatives in diverse sectors.”
The ministry also stated that it intends to “propose measures for profitable involvement of its Alumni for the benefit of the organization as a whole, as well as to study and advocate best practices of similar foreign youth organizations for inclusion in the NCC curriculum.”
The move is significant since MS Dhoni, who owns various cricketing records such as the most ODI and T20I wins by an Indian captain, is currently an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Territorial Army. Interestingly, MS Dhoni spent nearly a month training with the Indian Army’s Parachute Regiment in 2019.
Anand Mahindra, who was named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2014, has contributed to India’s defense manufacturing programs through his company’s defense vertical.
He previously supported the Indian Army’s proposal to enable civilians, particularly young working professionals, to join the army for a three-year term, while also noting that the Mahindra Group will be pleased to consider those who have served their terms for employment. Officials from Mahindra Defence were among the business leaders who met with Naravane.
Rajyavardhan Rathore, a retired Army officer who won an Olympic medal in shooting for India, served as Sports Minister during the first term of the Modi government.
According to the ministry, the NCC was founded in 1948 under the National Cadet Corps Act and is the largest uniformed organization aimed at fostering character, discipline, a secular worldview, and principles of selfless service among young citizens. It also strives to develop a pool of well-organized, well-trained, and well-motivated young people with leadership skills in all aspects of life.