The National Service Scheme (NSS) is a Central Sector Scheme of Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. It provides opportunity to the student youth of 11th & 12th Class of schools at +2 Board level and student youth of Technical Institution, Graduate & Post Graduate at colleges and University level of India to take part in various government led community service activities & programmes.The sole aim of the NSS is to provide hands on experience to young students in delivering community service. Since inception of the NSS in the year 1969, the number of students strength increased from 40,000 to over 3.8 million up to the end of March 2018 students in various universities, colleges and Institutions of higher learning have volunteered to take part in various community service programmes.
The main objectives of National Service Scheme (NSS) are :
The motto of National Service Scheme is NOT ME BUT YOU
All the youth volunteers who opt to serve the nation through the NSS led community service wear the NSS badge with pride and a sense of responsibility towards helping needy.
The Konark wheel in the NSS badge having 8 bars signifies the 24 hours of a the day, reminding the wearer to be ready for the service of the nation round the clock i.e. for 24 hours.
Red colour in the badge signifies energy and spirit displayed by the NSS volunteers.
The Blue colour signifies the cosmos of which the NSS is a tiny part, ready to contribute its share for the welfare of the mankind.
A NSS volunteer who takes part in the community service programme would either be a college level or a senior secondary level student. Being an active member these student volunteers would have the exposure and experience to be the following:
The National Integration Camp (NIC) is organized every year and the duration of each camp is of 7 days with day-night boarding & lodging. These camps are held in different parts of the country. Each camp involves 200 NSS volunteers to undertake the scheduled activities.
The camps are held every year which are attended by approximately 1500 NSS volunteers with at least 50% of the volunteers being girl students. These camps are conducted in Himalayan Region in the North and Arunachal Pradesh in North East region. The adventure activities undertaken in these camps includes trekking of mountains, water rafting, Para-sailing and basic skiing.
The first Republic Day Camp of NSS Volunteers was held in 1988. The camp takes place in Delhi between 1st and 31st January every year with 200 NSS selected volunteers who are good in discipline, March-past and cultural activities.
A Contingent of selected NSS volunteers participates in the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath, New Delhi on 26th of January every year in accordance with the guidelines and requisition of the Ministry of Defence.
National Youth Festivals are organized every year from 12th to 16th January by the Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports in collaboration with the State Governments in different parts of the country. Eminent guests, speakers and youth icons are invited to address and interact with about 1500 participating NSS volunteers during the National Youth Festivals.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India had instituted the National Service Scheme Awards to recognize the voluntary service rendered by NSS volunteers, Programme Officers, N.S.S. units and the university/senior secondary council.
Special Camping forms an integral part of National Service Scheme. It has special appeal to the youth as it provides unique opportunities to the students for group living, collective experience sharing and constant interaction with community.
Special campings are organised generally on various developmental issues of national importance. In the past the themes of the Special Camping Programmes have been 'Youth Against Famine', 'Youth Against Dirt and Disease', 'Youth for Rural Reconstruction', 'Youth for Eco-Development' and 'Youth for Mass Literacy', 'Youth for National Integration & Social Harmony'. 'Youth for Sustainable Development with special focus on Watershed Management and Wasteland Development. Every year 50 percent of the volunteers of each NSS unit are expected to participate in special camps which is of seven days duration.
NSS is in operation in Central University of Gujarat since 2017-18.