Malout (Sri Muktsar Sahib), September 2012: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today urged the Government of India (GoI) to abolish the existing criteria of Army recruitment on the basis of ‘Recruitable Male population’ and replace it with the one on the basis of capability and merit as done in the past, to enable more and more Punjabis to join the Armed forces on the basis of merit.
Addressing the gathering here after inaugurating the first NCC Academy of the country jointly with the Union Minister of State for Defence Dr. M. Mangapatti Pallam Raju, Badal said that there was a time when Punjabis dominated the Indian army with majority of soldiers (Jawans) besides the top brass including Generals, Major Generals, Brigadiers and Colonels hailing from state.
However he bemoaned that the state had suffered adversely after the GoI had adopted the criteria of recruitment on the basis of ‘Recruitable Male population’ of the state as a result of which the share of Punjab in Army has been restricted because it constitutes only 2.5% of the national population. The Chief Minister impressed upon Dr Raju that it was the need of the hour to change the formula so as to allow more and more youth of state to join the Army.
The Chief Minister said that today was a ‘Red Letter day’ for Punjab as two NCC training academies were being inaugurated at Rupnagar and Malout for imparting the best training facilities to National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets from state for further grooming them for Indian Armed forces. Badal said that it was indeed a matter of pride and honor for them that Punjab was the first state in the country to have two world class training centers for imparting coaching to the NCC cadets. He further said that though the NCC was started in the year 1948 in the country but Punjabi youth had to face several difficulties due to the lack of any professional academy in the state to impart training to them.
The Chief Minister further said that to aggrieve the situation the insufficient infra structure of NCC deprived the state from holding national level camps here and bereft the Punjabi youth from the opportunities to share experiences with the cadets of other states by holding a joint camp. However, Badal said that with the opening of these prestigious NCC training academies new avenues would be opened for Punjabis youth to join the Armed forces. He also said that by opening these academies the SAD-BJP government has fulfilled its promise made to youth for imparting training to them for preparing them for the Armed forces.
The Chief Minister said that the NCC training centre for the boys at Rupnagar has been constructed over an area of 9 acres at a cost of Rs 9 crore and in the same manner the NCC training centre for the girls at Malout has been constructed over an area of 6 acres at a cost of Rs 9.80 crore. He pointed out that with the opening of these academies around 55 thousand cadets from the state would be imparted training for joining the Army, Navy and Air Force under one roof thereby brightening their chances to join the Armed forces.
Badal said that not only this but these newly set up NCC training academies would be instrumental in organising the national level camps of the NCC in Punjab from time to time, which would prove to be a boon for the NCC cadets from the state.
Expressing gratitude to Union Defence Minister AK Antony and Union State Minister for Defence Dr. M. Mangapatti Pallam Raju for their active co-operation and support in the completion of both these academies, the Chief Minister said that these training centers would prove to be milestone in the history of the NCC and would act as a source of inspiration for cadets to excel in the field of Defence services and becoming ideal citizens of society. Emphasising on the need of imparting military training to the youth for making them ideal and disciplined citizens of the country, Badal said that realizing its importance the state Government has already allotted Rs 1.5 crore for the NCC Training Centers and for the purchase of requisite infra structure in the units so that world class training could be imparted to the youth. Besides, the state government had already made budgetary provision of Rs 18 crore to be spent on training of 55,000 cadets and for other activities, he added.
The Chief Minister further said that in order to prepare the youth for the Armed forces the state government has also opened 4 New NCC units in Punjab which included 23 NCC Boys battalion at Rupnagar, 6 Punjab NCC Girls Battalion at Malout, 2 Punjab R&V Squadron at Ghuda and 3 Punjab Navel Unit NCC at Bathinda. He said that apart from these NCC academies the SAD-BJP government has also established Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Institute at Mohali to motivate the budding youth to join the Armed forces, where free training and education is provided to them. Likewise Mr Badal said that to provide best training opportunities to youth for joining Armed forces a Service Selection Centre was being set up over an area of 200 acre at Rupnagar, for which the state government has already provided its land. He urged the Union Minister of State for Defense to get the work started on the construction of centre with immediate effect.
The Chief Minister further said to encourage and train the youth for joining the Merchant Navy a Naval Academy was also being established at Rupnagar. Likewise he said that as many as 16 C-PYTE Centres have been set up across the state to provide training to nearly 10,000 youth for recruitment in Military and Para Military forces.
Badal pointed out that the very spirit of patriotism was in the blood of Punjabis since birth which had always kept them in forefront for safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country besides making countless sacrifices during internal as well as external aggression even after independence. He said that it was a matter of fact that 80% of the Punjabis were amongst the countrymen who either faced gallows or were imprisoned for life displaying their firm resolve to free their motherland from the yoke of foreign imperialism. The Chief Minister said that even in post independence Punjabis played a pivotal role in safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country besides making it self reliant in food production.
Addressing the gathering Union Minister of State for Defence Dr. M. Mangapatti Pallam Raju said that the two NCC Academies inaugurated in Punjab today would go a long way in imparting quality training to the NCC cadets of the state. Thanking the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for the timely completion of the work on both these projects, Dr. Raju said that due to the untiring efforts of the state government Punjab has become the maiden state of the country to have such state of art academies for training the cadets. Lauding the role of Punjabis in safeguarding the frontiers of the country and making the country self sufficient in food production, the Union Defence Minister said that the nation was indebted for their marvelous contribution.
The leader of opposition in state assembly Chaudhary Sunil Kumar Jakhar also addressed the gathering.
Earlier welcoming the guests, the Director General of NCC Lieutenant General PS Bhalla A.V.S.M apprised them about the activities of the NCC. On the occasion the NCC cadets presented ‘Guard of Honor’ to Union Minister of State for Defence.
Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Lok Sabha MP Sher Singh Ghubaya, Harpreet Singh and Karan Kaur Brar (both MLAs) and Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister KJS Cheema.