In another initiative to control the drug menace in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has mooted enrolment of NCC cadets as DAPOs in the vulnerable border and rural areas.The Chief Minister on Thursday asked the Additional Director General, National Cadet Corps (NCC) Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, to initiate the process of involving the cadets in the DAPO campaign, while directing the ACS Higher Education to work out a strategy for their enrolment as DAPOs.The directives were issued during a high-level meeting with senior NCC officers, at which the Chief Minister underlined the scope for harnessing the massive potential of the disciplined NCC cadets in the government’s fight against drug abuse.The Chief Minister also asked the ADG NCC, R.S. Mann, to bring at least 547 more government schools, especially in the border and remote rural areas, within its ambit so that students could be trained for gainful employment, besides being nurtured into ideal citizens of the society. Extending his government’s full support to the NCC, the Chief Minister asked the Principal Secretary Finance to allot additional funds to the tune of Rs. 5 Crores over and above the already sanctioned budget of Rs. 27 Crores for the current fiscal.
He also asked the Finance department to designate a Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO) at Chandigarh Headquarters in order to facilitate 34 units and 4 group headquarters to coordinate at a single point, thus saving them from undue inconvenience and inordinate delay on account of dealing with different District Treasury Officers (DTOs).On the personal intervention of the Chief Minister, Principal Secretary Finance agreed to allow resubmission of bills to the tune of Rs. 79 Lacs in treasury for clearance, which had lapsed due to delayed allocation of funds in the previous fiscal.The Chief Minister assured the ADG that paucity of funds would not be allowed to hamper the NCC units in carrying out their activities and assured that more funds would be provided as the state's fiscal health was showing gradual signs of recovery.On being informed that till date only six units had been provided alternative accommodation, Captain Amarinder Singh also asked the ACS Higher Education to work out modalities to provide rental accommodation to the NCC units in private buildings, especially in the exceptional cases where government accommodation was not available.On the proposal of delegating HoD powers to the ADG for its efficient functioning, which were now vested with the DPI (Colleges), the Chief Minister directed the ACS Higher Education to examine it meticulously in consultation with the Finance Department before taking a final decision.
He also asked the Higher Education department to find out ways and means to utilize the services of ex-servicemen on contractual basis for better functioning of NCC units.Briefing the Chief Minister about the activities of the NCC directorate, Mann said it was providing services in 251 colleges and 565 schools and had so far enrolled 57,235 cadets. As many as 824 lecturers/teachers were on rolls as Associate NCC Officers.In addition, 59 Army, Navy and Air Force officers and 492 JCOs/NCOs were engaged in imparting training to the cadets across the state, he added. Also, 4 NCC whole-time lady officers and 12 girl cadet instructors were providing training to the female cadets. The major focus of the training was on character building and leadership qualities in cadets, he added.Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting were Senior Advisor to CM Lt. Gen. (Retd.) T S Shergill, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Higher Education S K Sandhu, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tewari, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Secretary Education Krishan Kumar.The NCC Punjab unit delegation consisted of Deputy Director General Brig Roveen, Group Commander Jalandhar Brig H M S Chatwal, Group Commander Patiala Brig J S Makol, Brig Narender Kumar, Director Group Captain A K Tripathy, and Commanding Officer 19 Pb. Bn NCC Col Vijaydeep Singh.