"Today, India is among those countries of the world where women are being included in combat roles in the Navy and the Air Force," he said from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
"About 173 districts in our border areas, our coastal areas share their boundaries with some or the other nation's border or coastline. In the coming days, NCC would be extended in those border districts for the youth there. We will train around one lakh new NCC cadets from bordering areas, and we will work towards the idea that amongst those, one-third of them are our daughters," he added.
The Army will train the border area cadets while those from the coastal areas will be trained by the Navy. And wherever there is an air base, the Air Force will train the cadets, the prime minister said.
"The border and coastal areas will get trained manpower for disaster management, and the youth will also get skill training for making their career in the armed forces," Modi added.
The NCC is a youth development movement managed by the armed forces. It also provides exposure to cadets in a wide range of activities, with a distinct emphasis on social services, discipline and adventure training. It is open to all regular students of schools and colleges on a voluntary basis.
NCC cadets who participated in the Independence Day celebrations were enthused by the prime minister's announcement.
Kapil Chaudhary, 20, a student of Delhi University's Shyam Lal College, said, "We are very happy to hear about the expansion plan for the NCC in coastal and border areas".
"It is needed and we will get to serve in those areas if the opportunity arises," said Chaudhary, an army cadet.
Vikram, a Class 8 student from Kalkaji, was excited too after hearing the announcement by the prime minister.
"I am in school but I know the kind of training NCC provides that equips us to respond to disasters and natural calamities by using our skills. We hope that we will get to travel to the border and coastal areas after the expansion," the 16-year-old said.
The NCC has 17 directorates. Members of the Delhi Directorate from different battalions were present at the event that was scaled down in view of the COVID-19 situation.
In January, NCC Director General Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra said the sanctioned strength of the corps is 14.6 lakh and 13.5 lakh cadets have been enrolled.
"The target is to reach the 15 lakh target by 2022. Also, we wish to take the current girl cadets strength from 31.86 per cent to 33 per cent by 2022," he had said.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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