College students in the Puducherry region would soon be able to join the National Cadet Corps (NCC) as an elective subject to notch up credits that would help fulfill their education goals in addition to expanding future employment prospects.
This follows the guidelines issued by the UGC to the Vice-Chancellors of all universities on April 15 for the introduction of NCC as a General Elective Credit Course (GECC), in response to a proposal mooted by the Directorate General National Cadet Corps, New Delhi.
The initiative, which is being planned from the current academic session, has evoked a positive response from the State governments, and is widely being viewed as a visionary step in the right direction, NCC officials said.
“The big stride forward is that from an extra-curricular engagement, the NCC experience is getting integrated into the curriculum as an elective course. This will have manifold benefits to student cadets,” said Col. Piyush Srivastava, Commanding Officer, 1 Puducherry Girls NCC.
NCC officials consider the move as one with far-reaching impact and falling in line with the NEP 2020, wherein students can select subjects of their choice rather than being confined to what is offered by the institutions.
Students who enrol for NCC would benefit by obtaining academic credits for NCC training and acquiring NCC ‘B’ and ‘C’ certificates, in addition to having enhanced job opportunities. Student-cadets would be able to avail themselves of employment incentives and benefits offered to NCC under various Central and State government schemes.
As the largest uniformed force, which has contributed immeasurably to nation building since 1948, the NCC believes that the measure will draw talent and benefit the cadets, including those from coastal areas, where additional cadet strength has been authorised as part of the overall Border Areas Expansion Plan.
Officials said concerted efforts had been initiated in this direction by Group Commander Col. Som Raj Gulia for early implementation of NCC as an elective subject in educational institutions in Puducherry.
The GECC item could be on the agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Academic Council of the Central University, whose purview extends to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands .
Once the NCC is integrated into the choice-based credit system (CBCS), it could broaden the advantage to the cadets, especially those appearing for the exams for the ‘B’ and ‘C’ certificates, which are awarded after the stipulated training period of two to five years.
These certificates offer several privileges, including reservation in admissions to institutions of higher learning and jobs in government organisations as well as the private sector, officials said.
Significantly, on successful completion of the course, the credit points awarded to the students would enable them to qualify for their respective degrees.
The NCC syllabus for ‘B’ and ‘C’ certificates is designed as per the CBCS of NEP 2020, which grants 24 credit points covering six semesters, out of which a student can accrue four credits in the first two semesters, 10 credits in the third and fourth semesters, and 10 credits in the fifth and sixth semesters.
The NCC training modules span a range of subjects, such as national integration, personality development, leadership, environmental awareness and adventure, in addition to exposure to drills, infantry weapons, battlecraft, map reading and community service.
“For a programme that has been running at full intake capacity across institutions in the region, we have developed a sufficient base of resource persons to implement training,” Mr. Srivastava said.
There are an estimated 13,732 cadets under the Puducherry Group, and their training needs are met by a pool of select college faculty members, who undergo a three-month course at facilities in the Officers Training Academy establishments for men at Kamptee, Maharashtra, and for women at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, to become Associate NCC Officers.
COURTESY – THE HINDU