National Service Scheme, under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports Govt. of India, popularly known as NSS was launched in Gandhiji’s Birth Centenary Year 1969, in 37 Universities involving 40,000 students with primary focus on the development of personality of students through community service. Today, NSS has more than 3.2 million student volunteers on its roll spread over 298 Universities and 42 (+2) Senior Secondary Councils and Directorate of Vocational Education all over the country. From its inception, more than 3.75 crores students from Universities, Colleges and Institutions of higher learning have benefited from the NSS activities, as student volunteers.
NSS volunteers generally work with villages, slums and voluntary agencies to complete 120 hours of regular activities during an academic year. As per the fundamental principles of National Service Scheme, a volunteer is expected to remain in constant touch with the community. Hence, it is of vital importance that a particular village/slum is selected for implementation of NSS programmes. As the NSS volunteer is to live with the members of the community and learn from their experience during his/her tenure in NSS, the village/slum should be carefully selected for adoption by NSS unit.
The overall aim of National Service Scheme as envisaged is to give an extension dimension to the higher education system and orient the student youth to community service while they are studying in educational institution. The reason for the formulation of this objective is the general realization that the college and 10 + 2 level students have tendency to get alienated from the village/slum masses which constitute the majority of the population of the country. The educated youth who are, expected to take the reins of the village/ slum community and, in certain cases are indifferent towards their needs and problems. Therefore it is necessary to arouse the social conscience of the students, and to provide them an opportunity to work with the people in the villages and slums. It is felt that their interaction with common villagers and slum dwellers will expose them to the realities of life and bring about a change in their social perception.
- The broad objectives of NSS are to:-
- Understand the community in which they work;
- Understand themselves in relation to their community;
- Identify the needs and problems of the community and involve them in problem solving process;
- Develop among themselves a sense of social and civic responsibility;
- Utilize their knowledge in finding practical problems;
- Gain skills in mobilizing community participation;
- Develop competence required for group living and sharing ofresponsibilities;
- Acquire leadership qualities and democratic attitude;
- Develop capacity to meet emergence and natural disasters and
- Practice national integration and social harmony.
The motto or watchword of the National Service Scheme is ‘NOT ME BUT YOU’. This reflects the essence of democratic living and upholds the need for selfless service and appreciation of other person’s point of view and also to show consideration. Manual is based on the ‘Rath’ wheel of the Konark Sun Temple situated in Orissa. These giant wheels of the Sun Temple portray the cycle of creation, preservation and release, and signify the movement in life across time and space. The design of the symbol, a simplified form of the Sun chariot wheel primarily depicts movement. The wheel signifies the progressive cycle of life; it stands for continuity as well as change and implies the continuous striving of NSS for social transformation and upliftment.