Post 26/11, the University of Mumbai is mulling over making the National Cadet Corps (NCC) compulsory for all students across 500 of its affiliated colleges.
A letter asking the university to make NCC mandatory as a 100-mark paper has been submitted to the university. Currently, students can opt for NCC voluntarily and it carries 10 marks.
“When there is a crisis, like the terror attacks, citizens don’t know what to do. Training students for NCC will help them in aspects like crowd control. With shortage of police personnel, the NCC cadets can man areas with the police gearing to fight the crisis,” said senate member Dilip Karande who wrote the letter.
At present, the varsity has about 5,000 cadets across colleges. Vice-Chancellor Vijay Khole has taken note of the suggestion and asked the university NCC coordinator to convene a meeting with regional NCC officials.
“It is necessary that students are trained for various situations. But it’s the central government that provides the funding. To make NCC compulsory would mean more resources in terms of equipment, uniforms, training etc for which a lot of finance will be needed,” said Khole. When asked whether it could be made mandatory, Khole was non-committal. “We are looking into the matter,” he said.
There are 13 lakh cadets – school and college students – across India. 1 lakh are in Maharashtra.
An NCC member from the Western region on conditions of anonymity was also non-committal. “In principle, no one is opposed to a good idea. The number can’t be exceeded. Moreover, the organisation can’t endlessly start training people,” he said.