Cricket icon Mahendra Singh Dhoni and industrialist Anand Mahindra were on Thursday named in a 15-member panel constituted by the defence ministry to carry out a comprehensive review of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in order to make it more relevant. The committed headed by former lawmaker Baijayant Panda includes Col. (Retd) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Principal Economic Advisor in the Finance Ministry Sanjeev Sanyal and Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar. Former vice-chancellor of the SNDT Women’s University Vasudha Kamat, National Organising Secretary of Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal Mukul Kanitkar, Maj Gen (retd) Alok Raj, Managing Director of SIS India Ltd Rituraj Sinha and CEO of Databook Anand Shah are also members of the panel.
Dhoni’s inclusion in the high-level panel came days after he was appointed mentor for India’s T20 cricket world cup team. The former India captain is a Lieutenant Colonel (Honorary) in the Indian Army.
The defence ministry said the committee has been constituted for a comprehensive review of the NCC in order to make it more relevant in changing times. “The terms of reference of the committee, inter-alia, broadly provide for suggesting measures which can empower NCC cadets to contribute more effectively towards nation-building and national developmental efforts in various sectors," it said. Officials said the committee will propose measures for gainful engagement of the NCC cadets for the betterment of the organisation as a whole and to recommend best practices of similar international youth organisations for inclusion in the NCC curriculum. The NCC is the largest organisation in uniform that aims at developing character, discipline, a secular outlook and ideals of selfless service among young citizens, the ministry said in a statement. It also aims to create a pool of organised, trained and motivated youth with leadership qualities in all walks of life.
The NCC was formed under the National Cadet Corps act in 1948.