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 Gandhi ji who inspired the Indian youth to participate in the movement for Indian independence and the social uplift of the downtrodden masses of our nation.
The Motto of NSS "Not Me But You", reflects the essence of democratic living and upholds the need for self-less service. NSS helps the students develop appreciation to other person's point of view and also show consideration to '/other living beings. The philosophy of the NSS is well doctrine in this motto, which underlines/on the belief that the welfare .of an individual is ultimately dependent on the welfare of the society on the whole and therefore, the NSS volunteers shall strive for the well-being of the society.
The cardinal principle of the programme is that it is organised 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 organisation at the end of their university career.
The efforts of NSS volunteers have been widely acclaimed by the community, universities, colleges and general public as the NSS volunteers have been rendering selfless service to the community.
The symbol for the NSS has been based on the giant Rath Wheel of the world famous Konark Sun Temple (The Black Pagoda) situated in Orissa, India. The wheel portrays the cycle of creation, preservation and release and signifies the movement in life across time and space, The symbol thus stands for continuity as well as change and implies the continuous striving of NSS for social change.
The NSS Symbol is embossed on the badge. The eight bars in the wheel represent the 24 hours of a day. The red colour indicates that the volunteer is full of young blood that is lively, active, energetic and full of high spirit. The navy blue colour indicates the cosmos of which the NSS is tiny part, ready to contribute its share for the welfare of the mankind.
Administrative Structure at Institution Level
The unit at college is the grass-root unit in NSS. The organisation keeps contact with the community, administration, student youth and teaching faculty through this unit only. Therefore, the organisation and management of NSS unit are of vital significance.
An institution will be allotted NSS units according to the strength of students. The number of units will be allotted by the Programme Coordinator in consultation with NSS Regional Centre and State Liaison Officer considering the demands of the institution. It is expected that the institution will provide necessary facilities for the successful running of the NSS unit because it is a part of the institution i.e. college or school.
Enrollment of NSS Volunteers
At college level the NSS volunteers will be enrolled from the first and second year degree-class students. Preference should be given to the students who have worked as NSS volunteers at +2 level also. Students belonging to minority communities, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes should be encouraged to participate in NSS. They should be given due representation where more students desire to join NSS. In co-educational colleges the girls should be motivated to join NSS.
The main objectives of National Service Scheme (NSS) are :
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 problem-solving
iv. develop among themselves a sense of social and civic responsibility
v. utilise 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 mobilising community participation
viii. acquire leadership qualities and democratic attitudes
ix. develop capacity to meet emergencies and natural disasters and
x. practise national integration and social harmony