National cadet corps is a well-known uniformed youth organisation working together to prepare and mould the youth for the armed forces. It is very popular among youngsters who want to achieve bigger goals in life and for the ones who picture themselves shining in the uniform.
There is this saying by an American journalist named Bill Dedman that history is the best guide to the future. In the same way Theodre Roosevelt, former U.S President, said that the more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future. So, to know more about NCC, the best way is to start from its history.
It was initially started to fulfill the shortage of soldiers in the army. Originally it was named as “University Corps” formed under the Indian Defence Act, 1917, which was an emergency criminal law enacted by the governor general of India in 1915 to restrict the revolutionary activities during and in the aftermath of the First World War. It was later renamed as “University Training Corps” (UTC) after the Indian Territorial Act was passed in 1920. It was established with the motive to make it more appealing to the youth. It was designed in a way which gave the cadets a pre-experience of life in the army. They were taught the basic qualities and requirements of the army. Their uniforms were quite similar to that of the army. It was an important step towards Indianisation of armed forces in India. UTC was renamed as “University Officers Training Corps” (UOTC). During World War 2, UTOC couldn’t fulfill the expectations of Britishers. It led to the idea of the betterment of this organisation which could train young men in a better way, even during peace.
This led to the formation of a committee headed by a former M.P. and freedom fighter H.N. Kunzuru. The committee decided to form a cadet organisation for young men to give them a gist of armed forces of India. It was applied to all schools and colleges across India. This new cadet organisation was accepted by the Governor of India on 15 July 1948, and this organisation was rechristened as “National Cadet Corps”.
Earlier NCC was applicable only for boys. In 1948 the issue of equality was raised which led to a new era of NCC that allowed not only boys but also girls to actively take part in NCC. NCC was modified with the addition of the Air Wing and Naval Wing in 1950 and 1952 respectively.
Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was immensely interested in NCC which made him improvise NCC by modifying its syllabus. Now NCC was not only restricted in making good leaders but also good human beings which was done by introducing the new curriculum that included social service activities.
After the 1962, Sino-Indian War, the country faced a shortage of soldiers. In 1963, NCC was made compulsory all over the country to compensate the shortage of soldiers. In 1968, when things started settling down it was again made voluntary.
NCC has always played a major part during war time as well as during peacetime. NCC was the second line of defence during 1965, Indo-Pakistani war and 1971, Pakistani-Bangladeshi war. It played a major role in supplying arms and ammunition to the front and were also part of the rescue troops.
After the Wars, its syllabus was revised again. It now included activities to improve the overall personality and to make them an active participant in social service. And since then NCC has been a crucial part of the country.