Indian Defence

What Is NCC? How and Why One Should Join NCC?

The National Cadet Corps (NCC) is the youth wing of the Indian Armed forces which inculcates officer-like qualities into the youth and gives an insight of glorious military life. With the motto of “Unity and discipline” and over thirteen Lakh members, it is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world.

In today’s article, we are going to look at the various aspects of NCC. We will discuss its history, its role, its organizational structure, the benefits of joining NCC, and obviously how to Join it.

Recent Announcements

Honorable Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi on 15th August 2020 i.e. on 73rd Independence day announced that over one lakh vacancies will be created in NCC. The size will be expanded up to 15 lakh cadets. This expansion will be primarily in coastal and border areas where cadets will assist armed forces. Over 173 districts will be part of this expansion plan. this expansion is also a boost to women empowerment since one-third vacancies will be reserved for girls.

However, this expansion plan is not new. Earlier in May this year, Honourable Defense Minister Rajnat Singh announced this plan. The DB Skekatkar Committee in its report proposed this expansion in December 2016.

History Of NCC


During the First World War, the Britishers felt the shortage of soldiers in the army. To make up this shortage they came up with an innovative plan. The “University corps” was formed in 1917 by the Indian Defence Act 1917.

When the first World War ended in1920, the Indian Territorial Act was passed. Under this act, the ‘University Officer Training Corps” replaced the university corps. Now the British army focused on developing officers rather than giving basic military training since the shortage of soldiers was no longer an issue. Their primary role was to assist the army in times of contingency.

After Independence, the Indian government liked the idea of basic military training for university students. On 15 July 1948, the National cadet corps act was accepted by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, the first and the last Indian Governor-General of India. This marked the birth of NCC.

In the same year of its formation i.e. 1948, NCC was opened to girls. That year other service wings were also included (Airwing and Navy Wing). Right from its formation, NCC remained a voluntary service until 1963. After the political blunder leading to the defeat in the 1962 Sino-Indian War, NCC service was made compulsory. However, in 1968 it was again made voluntary.

Role of NCC during 1965 and 1971 wars

In 1965 and 1975 wars NCC cadets played a significant role. The basic military training to its cadets gave a valuable advantage to NCC during these two wars. During these wars, NCC cadets formed the second line of defence. They organised camps to assist ordnance factories to meet the arms and ammunition requirements. Their role was not limited to that only, the cadets even supplied these arms and ammunition to the frontline warriors thus strengthening the logistic network. Other than that NCC cadets were also part of patrol parties which hunted down the Pakistani paratroopers.

COVID-19 Crisis

During the covid 19 crisis, more than 60,000 NCC cadets have volunteered. They are fighting besides other corona warriors to save us from this Chinese Virus Pandemic. The Nation salutes them and other covid warriors.

Structure of NCC

The NCC is headed by Director General who is a Lt General or equivalent ranks. Currently, Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra, AVSM is the Director-General of NCC. The Director-General is assisted by two additional generals. The structure of NCC is mention below in the hierarchy.

  1. Head Quarter–  located in Delhi
  2. Directorate– There are 17 Directorates located in the state capitals headed by an officer of the rank of a Maj Gen from the three Services.
  3. Division/ Regimental Corps-There are 3 such Specialised Corps located in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore respectively.
  4. Group – Depending upon the size of the state and growth of NCC in the states, Directorates have up to 14 Groups. Each group is headed by an officer of the rank of Brigadier or equivalent known as Group Commander.
  5. Battalion– Each NCC Group Headquarters control 5–7 units (Bns) commanded by Colonel/Lt.Col or equivalent.
  6. Company – Each Battalion consists of companies which are commanded by the Associate NCC Officer(ANO) of the rank of lieutenant to major.

Junior and Senior Division

Junior Division: It comprises of school students up to 10th standard.

Senior Division: It comprises of school students of higher secondary and university/college students

Wings Of NCC And Their Ranks

NCC is divided into three wings which are Army Wing, Airwing, and Navy wing. The three wings have different uniforms and slightly different types of training. Besides basic training, the three wings have different and diverse specialized training ranging from para jumping to basic flight training.

Army Wing

Each battalion or unit of the NCC Army wing consists of a number of platoons or coy. For senior division boys, each platoon consists of 52 cadets, and each coy consists of 160 cadets. Each BN has 4 to 7 coys so each BN carries around 640 to 1120 cadets. A typical senior wing girl BN consists of 2 to 7 coy means a total of 320 to 1120 cadets. The following is the rank structure in the hierarchy

  1. Cadet Senior Under Officer
  2. Cadet Under Officer
  3. Company Sergeant Major
  4. Company Quartermaster Sergeant
  5. Sergeant
  6. Corporal
  7. Lance Corpora
  8. Cadet

Air Wing

 For senior division boys and senior wing girls of NCC Airwing, each unit consists of at least 2 fleets each consists of 100 cadets. So each unit known as Squadron carries around 200 cadets. For junior wing girls and junior division boys each squadron has a troop consisted of 100 cadets. The following is the rank structure in the hierarchy

  1. Cadet Senior Under Officer
  2. Cadet Under Officer
  3. Cadet Warrant Officer
  4. Sergeant
  5. Corporal
  6. Leading Flight Cadet
  7. Flight Cadet

Navy wing

 For senior division boys, each BN or unit consists of 4 to 8 divisions and each division consists of 50 cadets. For senior wing girls, a similar arrangement exists as of senior division boys. For junior division boys and junior wing girls, each BN has a troop of 100 cadets. The following is the rank structure in the hierarchy

  1. Senior Cadet Captain
  2. Cadet Captain
  3. Petty Officer Cadet
  4. Leading Cadet
  5. Naval Cadet I
  6. Naval Cadet II


The training period for the senior division is 3 years with a provision of extension of 1 year. The training period for Junior Division is of 2 years. It is mandatory for senior wing cadets to undergo service training for a period of at least 4 hours per week during the training year. However, cadets are exempted from training during the vacation of their respective school/college/university. Every cadet of the Senior and Junior Division has undergone service training for a minimum period of 75% of total hours during the annual college and school session. Every cadet (in the case of Junior Division, who has completed one full year of training and is in his second year) attends an annual 10-day training camp, also known as National Combined Annual Training Camp. For Senior Division the duration is usually for up to 30 days. At the end of the camp training, the cadets receive a certificate of successful completion.


There are Three Certificates in NCC. Below describes it from a higher value to lower value.

  1. C-Certificate: It is the highest level certificate for NCC cadets. It can be taken in the 3rd year of training or in the 3rd year of a degree course. Those who possess a B Certificate can take it in the first year after their 10+2 or in the 1st year of their degree. The cadet must have attended two Annual Training Camps or one Annual Training Camp and on of the following: Republic Day Camp Delhi, Centrally Organised Camp, Para Training Camp, Attachment Training with service units, National Integration Camp, Youth Exchange Programme, or Foreign Cruise (Navy Wing only)
  2. B-Certificate: It can be taken by Senior Wing cadets of the NCC, after class year 10 and those studying for a degree. The candidate must have attended a minimum of 75% of total training periods laid down in the syllabus for the first and second years of senior division NCC (All Wings). The cadet must have attended one Annual Training Camp/NIC. Cadets who possess A Certificate will be awarded 10 bonus marks. An air wing cadet must do a minimum of 10 Glider launches.
  3. A-Certificate: It can be taken by Junior wing cadets of the NCC, during class years 8 and 9. After passing those classes it can’t be obtained. The candidate must have attended a minimum of 75% of total training periods laid down in the syllabus for the first and second years of junior wing NCC (All Wings). The candidate must have attended one Annual Training Camp.

Reasons For Joining NCC

NCC offers insight into military life to civilian cadets. Cadets undergoing NCC training often develop the will to join armed forces. Other than experiencing military life, discipline, and culture NCC also offers various exciting camps where cadets can do a variety of things ranging from para jumping to flying a microlight aircraft. These are the various camps:-

  • Combined Annual Training Camps (CATC)
  • National Integration Camp (NIC)
  • Republic Day Camp (RDC)
  • Army Attachment Camp
  • Hiking And Trekking Camps
  • Thal Sainik Camp (TSC)
  • Vayu Sainik Camp (VSC)
  • Nau Sainik Camp (NSC)
  • Para basic course camp
  • All India Yachting Regetta (AIYR)
  • Rock Climbing Camps (RCC)

Other than these camps the cadets also get an opportunity to join the armed forces through NCC Special Entry.

How To Join NCC

The enrollment procedure as stated by the official NCC site is given below:

Eligibility Conditions

  1. Citizen of India or a subject of Nepal.
  2. Bearing good moral character.
  3. Enrolled in an educational institution.
  4. Meets the prescribed medical standards.
  5. Age
    • Junior Division/Wing (Boys/Girls) – 12 years to 18½ years
    • Senior Division/Wing (Boys/Girls) – Upto 26 years

Application For Enrolment

  1. A student desirous of being enrolled in the Senior Division shall apply to the Officer Commanding of the nearest NCC Unit; while a student desirous of being enrolled in the Junior Division should apply to the Headmaster/Principal of the school in the prescribed form.
  2. There is provision for students desirous of enrolling in NCC even from educational institutions that are not enlisted as NCC sub-units. In this provision of ‘Open Category’, the student needs to approach the Commanding Officer of the nearest NCC Unit for further guidance. The students can thus avail NCC training from institutions that are already NCC sub-units, subject to following conditions:-
    1. The educational institution in which the student is studying should not be having NCC.
    2. The educational institution in which the student is desirous of undergoing NCC training should be placed under an NCC unit that has been declared an “Open Unit” by the Competent Authority.

This scheme assists in extending Senior Division/Senior Wing coverage to those 10+2 schools which have only Junior Division functioning in those schools and Senior Division unit cannot be allotted due to some reason or the other. Further, it lends an opportunity to those certificate holders, who wish to obtain ‘B’ and ‘C’ certificates and do not have NCC in their colleges.

Medical Examination

If the Commanding Officer or the Headmaster is satisfied that the application is in order, and that the applicant fulfills the conditions of enrolment and that he is suitable for enrolment in the unit or part thereof in which he desires to be enrolled, he shall cause the applicant to be medically examined.
If the Commanding Officer or the Headmaster is not satisfied that the application is in order or that the applicant fulfills the conditions of enrolment or that he is suitable to be enrolled in the unit or part thereof or the applicant is reported to be medically unfit for service in the National Cadet Corps, the Commanding Officer or the Headmaster shall reject the application and shall inform the applicant accordingly.

Most of the viewers reading this article would already part of NCC. If you have read this article this far then what are you waiting for? Go and join NCC as soon as possible!



Sheershoo Deb

I am a defense aspirant preparing to be an officer in the prestigious Indian armed forces. Earning the prestigious blue uniform is my dream.

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