New Delhi: Parliament's Consultative Committee on Defence has suggested making NCC training compulsory for students across the country in order to make them "absorb" discipline and societal values.

The committee, during a meeting with Defence Minister A K Antony, also suggested "sweeping changes" for improving National Cadet Corps (NCC) and Sainik Schools.

"Some members suggested that participation in NCC by every youth of the country for at least one year in their academic life be made compulsory so that discipline and societal values are absorbed by them," defence ministry officials said here.

There was unanimity among the members that contemporary societal requirements such as information technology, disaster management and strong leadership traits must form part of the training and education in NCC and Sainik Schools, they added.

Attended by Antony, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju and BJP leader Murali Manohar Joshi among others, the Consultative Committee of Parliament on Defence also stressed upon imparting leadership qualities in the students.

"The Committee also unanimously agreed that contemporary societal requirements such as information technology, disaster management and strong leadership traits must form part of the training and education in NCC and Sainik Schools," officials said.

Antony applauded the roles played by NCC cadets during disasters and the assistance given by them in social and community development programmes.

"NCC cadets provided timely assistance during the Jnaneshwari Express tragedy, cleaned the Mumbai shores during the oil spill and planted one million tree saplings as part of 'My Earth My Duty' programs", said Antony.

Established in 1948, NCC on Wednesday sanctioned strength of 1.5 million cadets from 615 districts across the country.

On Sainik Schools, the Minister said, over the last 50 years, Sainik Schools have prepared over 8,000 officers for the Armed Forces and have also made a substantial contribution to other walks of life.

At present, there are 24 Sainik Schools in as many states in the country with two schools each in Bihar, Karnataka and Haryana.

Raju also said in last couple of years, the government has invested substantial amount in upgrading infrastructure and training of teachers of Sainik Schools.

Agencies