The overall aim of National Service Scheme 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.
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 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
The symbol of the National Service Scheme is based on the ´Rath´ wheel of the Konarak 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.
NSS was formally launched on 24th September, 1969, the birth centenary year of Mahatma Gandhiji, the Father of Nation. Therefore, 24th September is celebrated every year as NSS Day with appropriate programmes and activities.
The Classification of NSS Programme:
The Regular NSS Activity
Under this, students undertake various programmes in the adopted villages, college campuses and urban slums during weekends or after college hours.
Special Camping Programme
Under this, camps of 7 days duration are organized in adopted villages or urban slums during vacations with some specific projects by involving local communities. 50% NSS volunteers, i.e. 50 NSS Volunteers per NSS Unit, are involved in these camps.
Benefits of Being a NSS Volunteer:
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: