Mahendra Singh Dhoni on committee to revamp NCC course
The government has started reviewing the National Cadet Corps curriculum “to make it more relevant in changing times” amid a renewed push to have it introduced as a credit-carrying elective subject at all universities.
Last week, the defence ministry appointed a 15-member committee that includes former Indian cricket captain M.S. Dhoni and is headed by former Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Panda, who is currently in the BJP.
Among the other members are Mahindra Group chairperson Anand Mahindra, BJP parliamentarians Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Jamia Millia Islamia vice-chancellor (VC) Najma Akhtar, former SNDT Women’s University VC Vasudha Kamat, and the secretary of the RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal, Mukul Kanitkar.
The move comes at a time the University Grants Commission has renewed its five-year-old effort to have all the universities introduce NCC as an elective course.
Currently, NCC is a sort of an additional course that some undergraduates in some universities take. Those who successfully complete it get a certificate.
However, a letter that UGC secretary Rajnish Jain wrote to all the vice-chancellors on July 9 suggested the course would in future carry academic credits.
It cited the new National Education Policy, which allows students to pursue some courses of their choice — from whichever stream — and earn credits.
The UGC has since November 2016 written to all the universities to introduce NCC as an elective course, following a May 2016 nudge from the defence ministry to the education (then HRD) ministry. But the proposal’s implementation has remained tardy.
The July 9 letter also outlined a revamped NCC syllabus.
In the theory classes, NCC students will be taught about national integration, personality development, disaster management, social service, border and coastal areas, the armed forces, infantry weapons and military history.
In their practical classes, the cadets will participate in drills, social service training, weapons training, map reading, field craft and battle craft. At the camps, they will undergo outdoor training.
The objectives of the course include the creation of a pool of trained and motivated youths who will serve the nation regardless of which career they choose, the proposal said.
A UGC official said that whatever new ideas the Panda panel suggests would be incorporated in the syllabus.