Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Two Memoranda of Understanding will be inked by the National Cadet Corps with the United Nations one on an HIV/AIDS initiative programme and the other on drugs and crime.

A third tie-up will be with the Union Environment and Forests Ministry for a pilot project on sapling plantation.

Giving details about the various national-level initiatives of the NCC, its Director General, Lt.Gen. M.C. Bhandari, told a news conference here on Wednesday that the NCC would focus attention on the growing number of AIDS victims. "Government of India is seriously concerned about the spread of AIDS and the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister have given directed the NCC to join hands in the national AIDS control project," he said.

Lt.Gen. Bhandari visited the Chennai NCC Directorate on his way to Vallam in Thanjavur district, where a special national integration camp was being held. He said 636 cadets were participating in the camp and of them 400 were from Tamil Nadu. On toning up of training in glider and micro-light airplanes, the Super Dimona aircraft was favoured to provide 3,500 flying hours training.

Lt.Gen. Bhandari said there were 13 lakh cadets across the country and over two lakh were ready to join the movement, all in the 13 to 26 age group. "We are now planning to create exclusive NCC cities which would provide comprehensive facilities under one roof," he said adding that the NCC has taken up the issue with several State Governments, including Tamil Nadu, to offer suitable land to set up such a mega facility.

Lt.Gen. Bhandariand Col. V. Subramani, Director of NCC, complimented the State Government for its active support to the Directorate.