• The NSS symbol is based on the “Rath” wheel of the Konark Sun Temple situated in Odisha.
• The navy-blue color indicates the cosmos of which the NSS is a tiny part, ready to contribute its share for the welfare of mankind.
• The red color indicates that NSS volunteers are full of blood, i.e. lively, active, energetic, and full of high spirit.
• The giant wheels of the Sun Temple portray the cycle of creation, preservation and release, and signify the movement in life across time and space.
“I solemnly pledge to work with dedication to serve and strengthen the freedom and integrity of the Nation. I further affirm that I shall never resort to violence and that all differences and disputes relating the religion, language, region or the political or economic grievances should be settled by peaceful and constitutional means.”
National Service Scheme popularly known as NSS, is a scheme that was launched in Gandhiji’s Centenary year, 1969. Aimed at developing students’ personalities through community service. NSS, is a voluntary association of young people in colleges, universities, and at +2 level working for a campus-community linkage. The cardinal principle of the NSS program is that it is organized by the students themselves, and both students and teachers through their combined participation in community service, get a sense of involvement in the tasks of nation-building.
History and Growth of NSS
1.In India, the idea of involving students in the task of national service dates to the times of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. The central theme that he tried to impress upon his student audience time and again, was that they should always keep before them, their social responsibility. The first duty of the students should be, not to treat their period of study as one of the opportunities for indulgence in intellectual luxury, but for preparing themselves for the final dedication in the service of those who provided the sinews of the nation with the national goods & services so essential to society. Advising them to form living contact with the community in whose midst their institution is located, he suggested that instead of undertaking academic research about economic and social disability, the students should do “something positive so that the life of the villagers might be raised to a higher material and moral level”.
2.The post-independence era was marked by an urge for introducing social services for students, both as a measure of educational reform and as a means to improve the quality of educated manpower. The University Grants Commission headed by Dr. Radhakrishnan recommended the introduction of national service in academic institutions on a voluntary basis with a view to developing healthy contacts between the students and teachers on the one hand and establishing a constructive linkage between the campus and the community on the other hand.
3.The idea was again considered by the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE)at its meeting held in January 1950. After examining the various aspects of the matter and in light of the experience of other countries in this field, the Board recommended that students should devote some time to manual work on a voluntary basis and that the teachers should also associate with them in such work. In the draft First Five-year Plan adopted by the Government of India in 1952, the need for social and labor services for students for one year was further stressed. Consequent upon this, labor and social service camps, campus work projects, village apprenticeship schemes, etc., were put into operation by various educational institutions. In 1958, the
then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in his letter to the Chief Ministers mooted the idea of having social service as a prerequisite for graduation. He further directed the Ministry of Education to formulate a suitable scheme for the introduction of national service into academic institutions.
4.In 1959, a draft outline of the scheme was placed before the Education Minister's Conference. The Conference was unanimous about the urgent need for trying out a workable scheme for national service. In view of the fact that education as it as imparted in schools and colleges, left something to be desired and it was necessary to supplement it with programs that would arouse interest in the social and economic reconstruction of the country. It was viewed that if the objectives of the scheme were to be realized,it was essential to integrate social service with the educational process as early as possible. The Conference suggested the appointment of a committee to work out the
details of the proposed pilot project. In pursuance of these recommendations, a National Service Committee was appointed under the Chairmanship of Dr. C.D. Deshmuklh on August 28, 1959, to make concrete suggestions in this direction. The committee recommended that national service for a period of nine months to a year may be made compulsory for all students completing high school education and intending to enroll themselves in a college or a university. The scheme was to include some military training, social service, manual labor, and general education. The recommendations of the Committee could not be accepted because of their financial implications and difficulties in implementation.
5.In 1960, at the instance of the Government of India, Prof. K.G. Saiyidain studied national service by students implemented in several countries of the world and submitted his report under the title “National Service for the Youth” to the Government with several recommendations as to what could be done in India to develop a feasible scheme of social service by students. It was also recommended that social service camps should be open to students as well as non-students within the prescribed age group for better inter-relationship.
6.The Education Commission headed by Dr. D.S. Kothari (1964-66) recommended that students at all stages of education should be associated with some form of social service. This was taken into account by the State Education Minister during their conference in April 1967 and they recommended that at the university stage, students could be permitted to join the National Cadet Corps (NCC)which was already in existence on a voluntary basis and an alternative to this could be offered to them in the form of a new program called the National Service Scheme (NSS). Promising sportsmen, however, should be exempted from both and allowed to join another scheme called the National Sports Organization (NSO), in view of the need to give priority to the development of sports and athletics.
7.The Vice Chancellors' Conference in September 1969 welcomed this recommendation and suggested that a special committee of Vice Chancellors could be set up to examine this question in detail. In the statement of national policy on education of the Government of India, it was laid down that work experience and national service should be an integral part of education. In May 1969, a conference of the students' representatives of the universities and institutions of higher learning convened by the Ministry of Education and the University Grants Commission (UGC) also unanimously declared that national service could be a powerful instrument for national integration. It could be used to introduce urban students to rural life. Projects of permanent value could also be undertaken as a symbol of the contribution of the student.
8. The details were soon worked out and the Planning Commission sanctioned an outlay of Rs. 5 crores for National Service Scheme (NSS) during the Fourth Five Year Plan. It was stipulated that the NSS programme should be started as a pilot project in select institutions and universities. community to the progress and upliftment of the nation.
9.On September 24, 1969, the then Union Education Minister Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao, launched the NSS programme in 37 universities covering all States and simultaneously requested the Chief Ministers of States for their cooperation and help. It was appropriate that the programme was started during the Gandhi Centenary Year as it was Gandhiji who inspired the Indian youth to participate in the movement for Indian independence and the social uplift of the downtrodden masses of our nation.
10. The cardinal principle of the programme is that it is organized by the students themselves and both students and teachers through their combined participation in social service, get a sense of involvement in the tasks of national development. Besides,
the students, particularly, obtain work experience which might help them to find avenues of self-employment or employment in any organization at the end of their university career. The initial financial arrangements provided for an expenditure of Rs. 120/- per NSS student per annum to be shared by the Central and the State Governments in the ratio of 7:5 i.e. the Central Government spending Rs. 70/- and State Governments Rs. 50/- respectively per NSS student per year. An amount of Rs.120/- per NSS student per annum on programmes to be shared by the Central and State Governments in the ratio of 7:5 (i.e. Rs. 70/- per student by the central government and Rs. 50/- per student by the State Governments). Keeping the inflation in view, it is now under consideration to revise the amount for Special Camping and Regular Activities.
AIM of NSS
Development of the Personality of Students through Community Service.
Objectives of NSS
The broad objectives of NSS are to:
I. Understand the community in which they work
II. Understand themselves in relation to their community
III. Identify the needs and problems of the community and involve them in the problem-solving process
IV. Develop among themselves a sense of social and civic responsibility
V. Utilize their knowledge in finding practical solutions to individual and community problems
VI. Develop competence required for group living and sharing of responsibilities
VII. Gain skills in mobilizing community participation
VIII. Acquire leadership qualities and a democratic attitude
IX. Develop capacity to meet emergencies and natural disasters and
X. 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 the other person’s point of view and shows consideration for fellow human beings. It underlines that the welfare of an individual is ultimately dependent on the welfare of society as a whole. Therefore, it should be the aim of the NSS to demonstrate this motto in its day-to-day program.