National Service Scheme (NSS) is one of the flagship programmesof the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports aimed at developing qualities of good citizenship and spirit of Volunteerism among youth and to provide them an opportunity to work with the people in the villages and slum dwellers. The scheme seeks to achieve its objectives through twin approach i.e. “Campus to Community” and “College to Village”. National Service Scheme was launched during the birth centenary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi on 24th September 1969 in 37 Universities involving 40,000 students. Today, NSS has more than 3.2. million student volunteers on its roll spread over 299 Universities. The scheme is implemented through the State Governments and the operations of NSS are at the University/ College and Higher Secondary School level.
The objective of NSS is to arouse social conscience of the students, and to provide them an opportunity to work with the people in the villages and slum dwellers. The Basic unit of NSS consists of 50 to 100 volunteers at School/ College level headed by a Programme Coordinator (usually a Lecturer). At the University level, the NSS is looked after by Programme Coordinator (Full time or a Part time Reader). The state Liaison Cell at the State Secretariat is fully responsible for the implementation of the Scheme including timely release of grants to the NSS Institutions.
Under NSS, the Union and State Governments jointly fund two types of programmes viz. Regular activities and Special Camping Activities. Under the ‘Regular Activities’, students are expected to work as volunteers for a continuous period of two years, rendering community service for a minimum of 120 hours per annum. Under ‘Special CampingProgrammes’ a camp of 7 days’ duration is conducted every year in any ‘adopted village’ on a specific theme.
NSS is presently the only Centrally Sponsored Programme of the Ministry. The existing funding pattern of the NSS for States in the rest of India is 7:5 between the Centre and the States. In case of States in NE Region the expenditure is shared in the ratio of 3:1 between the Centre and the States. In the case of Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territories without Legislature the entire expenditure is met by the Government of India. The cost norms for the Regular Activities is Rs. 250/- per volunteer per annum and for Special Camping is Rs. 450/-per volunteer per annum.
In 1993-94, during the Silver Jubilee year of NSS, Indira Gandhi NSS (IGNSS) Awards were instituted to give recognition to selfless service rendered by the NSS volunteers, Programme Officers and the Programme Coordinators. These awards were earlier conferred to– (i) Best University (Programme Coordinator), (ii) 6 best Programme Officers and 6 units and (iii) 16 Best NSS volunteers. This year, the IGNSS Awards will be given away by the President of India and the Ceremony is scheduled to be held on 19th November, 2012 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. From 2010 onwards, the number of awards and the prize money has been enhanced as under:
|Category||No. of Awards||Value of each Award
|University/+2 Council (State Level)||1||Rs. 2,00,000/-
|Upcoming University||1||Rs. 1,00,000/-
|Programme Officer||10||Rs. 20,000/-
|NSS Unit||10||Rs. 70,000/- (For NSS Programme Development)|
|NSS Volunteers||30||Rs. 15,000/-