National Service Scheme, under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports Govt. of India, popularly known as NSS was launched in Gandhiji's Birth Centenary Year 1969, in 37 Universities involving 40,000 students with primary focus on the development of personality of students through community service. Today, NSS has more than 3.2 million student volunteers on its roll spread over 298 Universities and 42 (+2) Senior Secondary Councils and Directorate of Vocational Education all over the country. From its inception, more than 3.75 crores students from Universities, Colleges and Institutions of higher learning have benefited from the NSS activities, as student volunteers.
NSS volunteers work hard day and night to ensure that every one in our society who is needy gets the every possible help from them so that they can also enhance their standards and lead a life of dignity in the society with all of us. In doing so the volunteers themselves learn a lot from the people in villages like how to struggle and how to lead a happy life in the extreme scarcity of resources and so on. The NSS volunteer, who is a college/+2 level student is the main beneficiary of the programme by way of development of his/her perception about the community, his/her skill to perform certain jobs, and develop quality of a leader, organiser, and an administrator and development of his/her personality as a whole. Through NSS, he/she gets opportunities to see the community closely and thus gets an experience of human nature in relation to his/her environment. This is how the NSS programme aims to make NSS student youth better citizens through “Development of their personality through Community Service”.
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:-