ANNUAL NCC LECTURE
29-11-2004 : New Delhi
Missions for NCC
I am delighted to be with the members of the National Cadet Corps on the occasion of NCC Day. My greetings to the Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers, other ranks and all the Cadets of the NCC aligned with different wings of the Armed Forces. NCC today has grown from cadet strength of about 1.7 lakhs to nearly thirteen lakhs. NCC units are spread from Leh in the Himalayas to Kanyakumari in the Thamizhnadu, from Kutch in the west, to Kohima in the East, including our islands. I have selected ?Missions for NCC? as the topic for presentation today.
As you are all aware, the country is poised in the mission of transforming itself into a developed nation by the year 2020. The prime resource through which this transformation is possible is the 540 million youth who are below the age of 25. India needs young citizens with knowledge, hard work and love for the nation and above all a disciplined citizen with value system. Mission of NCC rightly fits in the evolution of enlightened citizens needed for developed India mission.
Considering the contribution made by this trained and disciplined youth force of NCC, I would like to share with you the role that this organisation can play in the development of enlightened citizens for our national missions.
My Visualization of NCC
Presently, at any time nearly 1.3 million NCC cadets are undergoing training either in school or college. This covers only 3.8 percent of the eligible student population of the country. Dynamics of nation with a billion populations is becoming complex day by day. Every year 10 million educated youth are injected into the society who is looking for employment opportunities. They need productive employment; otherwise instability in the society will set in.
The independence movement created the leadership quality and nurtured the concept that the nation is bigger than individual or any system of organisation. During the last few decades this national spirit has been at the low ebb. What we need is that the political parties have to compete with each other, and answer the question, ?How the nation can be developed faster, in quality and work for providing higher standards of life for our citizens?? For this trend to set in, the youth, particularly the disciplined youth should make an important contribution. Enhancing the scope of NCC and making it mission oriented, will be the best answer today for the mission of National Development. This disciplined society will have an impact on the political ethos of the nation. In the present scenario, one thing we have seen, our Armed Forces consistently have played a disciplined role for preserving the integrity of the nation in tune with the political vision. The new role of NCC in assisting India?s new vision will also be able to demonstrate that the government can utilize the power of the youth together for the national development cutting across the political and geographical barriers.
NCC cadets in schools and colleges get their basic armed forces training for nearly two years with inculcation of discipline and integrity as the prime pillars. I understand NCC has so far trained over 20 million NCC cadets since its birth, almost since independence. About 30 percent of trained NCC cadets take up Armed Forces as their career. A special research should be taken up by Ministry of Defence in collaboration with Indian Institutes of Management, to study and analyze how the balance 70% of trained NCC Cadets who have not taken up Armed Forces as their career, have made impact on society through their chosen area of work, and their work ethics and ethos, performance and career path.
I am confident, if 10 million trained NCC cadets are injected into our society with a mission every year, it will have a positive impact on three important areas of life in the society.
a) Promotion of righteous life in the work place
and the family and elimination of corruption and improvement of efficiency.
b) Augmentation of clean environment, clean home, clean office and clean neighbourhood including planting of lakhs of trees.
c) Disciplined and committed action in whatever works the NCC cadet takes up for enthusiastic partnership in the developed India movement.
Recently I was in Bangalore where I interacted with the students of the Indian Institute of Science. During my lecture, I said that if a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are father, mother and the teacher. I would like to share with you the response I received from one of the staff members of IISc for these remarks. He had written, ?The words that only three people Father, Mother and Elementary School Teacher can remove corruption, are extremely true?. He further stated that he had taught his daughter that she should always speak the truth and that if she speaks the truth she will have no fear in life. Today she is 10 years old but when she was in her 2nd standard she had not gone for school for one day because he had taken her to a function at his friend?s place. In her leave letter he had mentioned that due to unavoidable circumstances she couldn?t attend school. She immediately remarked that, ?Why I should say unavoidable circumstances and not those we had to attend a function. You have told me not to tell lies why should I tell lies?. Then he realized his mistake and changed the leave letter with correct information. This is the power of teaching children at a young age to be honest, which also enables us to be corrected by the child if we deviate from our righteous path. Honesty comes out of righteousness. Once taught the children become conscious keepers. Once you start giving the right direction in the minds of the children, character building emanates from the family. ?I will make my home a righteous home? should be the motto of each and every NCC cadet.
Clean habitat is my goal
The status of environmental cleanliness is one of the indicators of development of a nation. As a nation, we have to keep our environment clean and tidy and it has to start from the home. This is essential for better health conditions of all the citizens and also for presenting a wholesome and aesthetic atmosphere for us. It is essential that we keep all our places of worship and rivers clean and tidy to preserve their innate divinity. Members of the NCC can promote a clean habitat movement in their home and surroundings and participate in imparting the awareness amongst the rural and urban population leading to a clean nation. This action itself will lead to healthy environment and environment for better performance and productivity in various types of tasks that people take up. I will make my street the cleanest street, should be the passion of each and every NCC cadet.
Enthusiastic partnership in the developed India movement
Our nation is going through a major challenge of uplifting of 260 million people who are below the poverty line. They need habitat, they need food, they need health care, and they need education and employment and finally resulting in a good life. National GDP is growing at the rate of about 6% per annum. Whereas, the economists suggest that to uplift the people below poverty line, our economy has to grow at the rate of 10% per annum consistently, for over a decade.
Integrated action: To meet the need of our people, we have the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action:
(1) Agriculture and food processing
(2) Reliable and Quality Electric power, Surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of the country.
(3) Education and Healthcare
(4) Information and Communication Technology
(5) Strategic sectors.
These five areas are closely inter-related and if well done would lead to national, food, economic and security.
Essential Connectivities: The integrated methods, which will bring prosperity to rural India are: the physical connectivity of the village clusters through quality roads and transport; electronic connectivity through tele-communication with high bandwidth fiber optic cables reaching the rural areas from urban cities and through internet kiosks; knowledge connectivity through education, vocational training for farmers, artisans and craftsmen and entrepreneurship programmes; these three connectives leading to economic connectivity through starting of enterprises with the help of banks, micro credits and marketing the products.
NCC an integral part of our educational system
I have suggested that the education with value system is an important contributor for building good human beings and developed India. The present NCC with the new mission can make the desired difference to our educational system and thereby giving the positive impact on the society. I am sure you will all agree that the influence of NCC on our society is something that we are all proud of and hence needs to be intensified and focused.
In my view, two years NCC training must be made compulsory for all eligible students, both for boys and girls at the school or college level. This may work out to cadre strength of 20 million students for the NCC. I realize, the NCC budget needed for this will increase substantially. However, the output in terms of societal development and peace will adequately compensate through the availability of young disciplined human resource.
Five point Oath for NCC Cadets
The NCC cadets are examples of enlightened citizens for the society to emulate. In this way they have a responsibility not only to themselves but also to the whole society. In fulfilling this mission, it is good for them to cohesively articulate their roles and responsibilities. For this, I would like to administer a five point oath for all the NCC Cadets for Societal transformation and national development.
1. Righteous home: I will be responsible for creating a righteous home. I realize, righteousness in one?s mind brings beauty in the character. Beauty in the character blossoms harmony in the home. Harmony in the home leads to order in the nation. Order in the nation brings peace to our planet.
2. Clean home and habitat: I will spread the mission of beautiful home by setting an example and advocating to the entire neighborhood, starting from my home, the importance of environment. I will work towards sustainable development with no adverse impact on the environment and in fact would contribute to bettering the environment by planting trees, keeping the streets clean, and reducing the pollution.
3. Purity of thought: I will spread the message of purity of thoughts among the youth and ensure that the women are respected by the society.
4. My life is a message: I will ensure that all thinking and action in my life becomes a message to the youth to emulate. I will lead an honest life free from all corruption and will set an example for others to adopt a transparent way of life.
5. Celebration of my country: I will celebrate every success of my country and my fellow citizens.
Nation building needs large number of enlightened youth. One of the essential components of enlightened youth, namely the discipline, can be provided by NCC training. Now for NCC Cadets, I prescribe an important additional trait that you all should imbibe. In addition to discipline, the members of the NCC should possess the characteristics of indomitable spirit which has two components. The first component is that there must be a Vision leading to higher goals of achievement. The second component is the spirit of challenging the challenges. I would like to recall a couplet from Thirukkural by the Poet Saint Thiruvalluvar written 2500 years ago.
It means that whatever may be the depth of the river or lake or pond, whatever may be the condition of the water, the lily flower always comes out and blossoms. Similarly, if there is a definite determination to achieve a goal even if it is impossible to achieve, the man succeeds.
We would have experienced that success is not in sight and there are many hurdles. The same poet reminds us at this point of time through another couplet:
We should never be defeated by any problems. We should become master of the situation and defeat the problems. I consider these two Thirukkurals characterize the indomitable spirit.
I am sure, the evolved enlightened citizens with character built at home and family, school imparting value based education, two year compulsory NCC training providing the discipline and unity, backed by indomitable spirit, will make you a proud contributor in making India a happy, prosperous and peaceful nation.
My best wishes to all of you for success in all your missions. May God bless you.