New Delhi, Jan 5 (PTI) The National Cadet Corps is “well on track” to achieve a strength of 15 lakh members by 2020, its Director General said Saturday, while asserting that the NCC was expanding its footprint in left-wing extremism affected region and remote areas.

The current authorised strength of NCC is 14.2 lakh, Director General of the NCC, Lt Gen. P P Malhotra told reporters here, adding, 2,070 cadets, including 698 girl cadets, drawn from the 17 directorates covering all the states and union territories are participating in the Republic Day camp in Delhi Cantonment.

“This also includes 102 cadets from Jammu and Kashmir and 162 from the north-east,” he said.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu is slated to officially inaugurate the Republic Day NCC Camp on Monday, a senior official said.

Malhotra, during a press conference here, also said, girl cadets constitute about 31.84 per cent of the NCC strength, and target is to take that figure to 33-34 per cent.

Asked about NCC’s penetration in left-wing extremism (LWE) affected and remote areas, he said, the corps is reaching out to these areas as par its expansion plan.

Malhotra said there are challenges in these areas, but the training staff go to these regions and “we are getting positive response”.

“In Bastar area, we did a camp, and people from neighbouring areas also took part. We also did ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ camp in Srinagar, and people came not only from Jammu, but other places too,” he said.

During his visit to last year’s NCC camp, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre had said the expansion of the corps was underway with a focus on left-wing extremism affected region, the northeast and coastal areas.

The NCC strength is being expanded as part of a five-phase programme, which seeks to achieve a strength of 15 lakh by 2019-2020.

Malhotra said, the fourth phase of the expansion is currently underway. “We are moving up, and 14.2 lakh is our authorised strength. And, we are quite sure to reach our target by 2020,” he said.

He added that over 16,000 educational institutions are enrolled with the NCC and more than 8,000 institutions are on the waiting list.

The camp will be visited by several other dignitaries, including the defence minister, minister of state for defence, the chiefs of three armed forces, the Delhi chief minister, and culminate with the Prime Minister’s Rally.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.