Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat (EBSB) camp has been merged with national integration camps under National Cadet Corp
Bengaluru: EBSB camps do not have enough openings for National Cadet Corps (NCC) students to participate. There are only one or two openings per NCC unit every year.
Nayana, sergeant of 39-Karnataka-Batallion NCC from Seshadripuram Institute of Commerce And Management said that there is not much done towards EBSB participation among cadets. Last year, most groups just had one seat for a boy or a girl to go and participate. From 2020 onwards, this camp is just limited to Google Meets and multiple online presentations.
Vaishali Chauhan, Ex-Senior Under Officer of 1-Karnataka-Girls-Battalion, Mount Carmel College said, “The openings are very less for this camp, it’s usually one or two and we have more than 30-40 cadets. Cadets are not always interested in drill and athletics, this camp offers a good range of cultural activities like dance, debate, extempore and singing.”
Samuel James, a cadet who attended the camp said, “I am interested in cultural programs. I waited for this camp and when I finally got in it; it went online. Due to network disturbances, it was not as good as I thought it would be. Also, there is a lot of politics that goes around here and not everyone was able to participate in all the events.”
Previously EBSB activity was under University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines of an outreach program. In 2018-19, the National Integration Camps (NIC) under NCC was merged with EBSB as said by Lieutenant Akshay D. Mandlik, Associate NCC Officer (ANO) of 1-Karnataka-Armoured-Squadron, St Joseph’s College Autonomous (SJC).
“Since then UGC has shifted the entire responsibility of conducting EBSB camps to individual directorates which is the highest authority of NCC in a state,” he added.
He further said, “Usually this camp is conducted by two or more directorates. So they have to accommodate all NCC groups of both directorates which by default makes the openings really less.”
Parshwa Turakia, Senior Under Officer (SUO) of 9-Karnataka-Battalion-NCC, Christ University stated that openings are less because more focus is given to other bigger camps like Republic Day Camp (RDC) and Thal Sainik Camp (TSC). As all other camps are canceled for two years, EBSB camp is no longer annual. There are two to three camps that happen in the interval of three months but still, the openings remain one or two, he added.
After Covid restrictions, NCC groups in Bangalore now gets two to four EBSB camps in a year because they can be conducted online in form of presentations but the vacancy is still limited.
There used to be more openings previously but in the past four years, the number has reduced to either one or two and mostly the information about the camp is not passed from the directorate on time said Anmol Tiwari, Ex-NCC cadet of SJC. “In 2018, two of us were eager to attend the camp but the notification reached our unit only after the camp was over.” He added.
Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty, Retired Expert Advisor in Cultural and Developmental Administration to Government of India said, “Such activities show results only when the students understand that culture is not just about songs, dance, or arts but rather these activities should be structured in a way that speaks about eco-specific and community-specific strategies of development and especially when it’s done by a government organization like NCC.”