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NCC to introduce modern weapons, aircraft to motivate cadets DG

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Panaji, Feb 24 (UNI) The National Cadet Corps (NCC) directorate has embarked on a modernisation drive to introduce the latest weapons and aircraft systems to further movitate the cadets.

NCC Director General Lt Gen M C Bhandari told mediapersons here today that the directorate was keen to replace its aging gliders with Super Demenors (Austria), each costing about Rs 54 lakh, that could help the cadets fly solo during training.

NCC has using the powered Zen Air and X-Air aircraft, besides the gliders, for training the airforce cadets.

The NCC also has plans to switch over to training the cadets in the modern 50 mm bore INSAS rifles, now being used by the Army in place of the outdated 0.22 mm and 5.6 mm bore rifles to keep them abreast of the armed forces.

Everything, however, depends on the clearance of the Union Defence Ministry after which a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed with the concerned suppliers, Mr Bhandari said.

The NCC had also introduced innovative schemes to involve the cadets in adventure sports like white water rafting, para-sailing and microlite flying, apart from traditional events like mountaineering.

It had signed a MoU with the United Nations for launching HIV/AIDS, cancer and environment awareness programmes, apart from educating the masses on dangers of drugs, he said.

With about Rs 661 crore annual budget allocation besides additional funds for equipment, the directorate is also making efforts to recruit more girl cadets, as against 17.5 per cent of the force at present.

The ideal ratio would be 50 per cent girls and the rest boys at the national level. With India and China projected to have 50 per cent of the population between 15 and 25 years by the year 2020, the Government is keen to make NCC compulsory again for atleast 18 months, he said.

In Goa, where girls comprised the highest 37 per cent of the cadets and good performance at the national level, the NCC directorate has proposed to raise airforce and equistrian, in addition to the existing naval, military and girls units as a part of the expansion drive.

A self-contained NCC academy under its own group headquarters is necessary in Goa so that the cadets could be trained in flying the aircrafts for renewed motivation. At present, its has its group headquarters in neighbouring Belgaum under the Karnataka and Goa combined directorate in Bangalore, the NCC DG said.

Mr Bhandari said Chief Minister of Goa Pratapsinh Rane, during a recent interaction, had evinced keen interest in locating the proposed group headquarters and new wings in the state for which a site at Dargal is being examined.

As many as 4,000 colleges and schools, including four in Goa have been waitlisted for introducing NCC with its importance in character building among the youth on rise.

However, the NCC activity in Goa continues to be stagnant since it attained separate Statehood, for various reasons including lack of a group headquarters with direct administrative supervision and advice, he added.

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