The National Service Scheme (NSS) is an Indian government-sponsored public service program conducted by the Department of Youth
Affairs and Sports of the Government of India. Popularly known as NSS, the scheme was launched in Gandhiji's Centenary year, 1969.
NSS was started to establish a meaningful linkage between the campus and the community. The overall aim of NSS 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 +2 level students have a 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
administration in future are found to be unaware of the problems 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 the common villagers and slum dwellers will expose them to the realities of life and bring about a change in
their social perception. Student youth, teachers and the community are considered the three basic components of the National Service Scheme.
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 the other
point of view and also to show consideration for fellow human beings. It underlines that the welfare of an individual is ultimately dependent on the
welfare of society on the whole. Therefore, it should be the aim of the NSS to demonstrate this motto in its day- to - day programme.
Aims of NSS Programmes/Activities
The operational aim of NSS is to integrate the three basic components of the programme. NSS programme should provide a variety of learning experiences
which must develop a sense of participation, service and achievement among the volunteers. The activities should aim at the following:
Making education more relevant to the present situation to meet the felt needs of the community and supplement the education of the
university/college students by bringing them face to face with the rural situation;
Providing opportunities to the students to play their role in planning and executing development projects which would not only
help in creating durable community assets in rural areas and urban slums but also results in the improvement of quality of life of the economically and
socially weaker sections of the community;
Encouraging students and non-students to work together along with the adults in rural areas;
Developing qualities of leadership by discovering the latent potential among the campers, both students as well as local youth (Rural and Urban),
with a view to involve them more intimately in the development programme and also to ensure proper maintenance of the assets created during the camps;
Emphasizing dignity of labour and self-help and the need for combining physical work with intellectual pursuits;
Encouraging youth to participate enthusiastically in the process of national development and promote national integration, through corporate
living and cooperative action.
While undertaking these activities, each NSS unit should envisage its programmes/activities aimed at instilling discipline, building character, promotion of
physical fitness and development of culture.