The National Service Scheme (NSS) is the foremost community service scheme in the country. As on date, more than 36 lakh volunteers are enrolled into the scheme with most coming from Tamil Nadu.
The National Service Scheme, 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. As on date, NSS has more than 36 lakh volunteers with more than 39000 units across the country.
History of NSS
The idea of introducing social service for students was considered by the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) in 1950. In this meeting, the Board recommended that students should devote some time to manual work on a voluntary basis. In the draft First Five year Plan adopted by the Government of India in 1952, the need for social and labour service for students for one year was further stressed. In 1959, a draft outline of the voluntary service scheme was placed before the Education Minister’s Conference. In 1960, 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 a number of recommendations. After various consultations, the scheme was finally launched on September 24, 1969 in 37 universities covering all States. An outlay of Rs 5 crore was sanctioned for the NSS in the fourth five year plan.
The NSS volunteers engage in various community service initiatives such as the Blood Donation drives, Plantation, Immunization drives, Shramdaan, Disaster management etc. The volunteers are expected to put in 120 hours in community service every year.
More than 39000 NSS units across the country
As of 31st March 2016, a total of 39695 NSS units were operating in the country in the various States/UTs. These units are present in 29152 institutions across the country. Majority of the institutions covered under NSS are colleges or technical institutions. A total of 391 universities and more than 12000 schools are also covered by the NSS.
Out of the 39695 NSS units in the country, more than 5000 units are in Tamil Nadu followed by 3798 in Maharashtra. Only 7 states have more than 2000 NSS units while 15 states have more than 1000 NSS units. Seven different States/UTs have less than 100 NSS units. Of the bigger states, Bihar has the least NSS units at 664. Of the various NSS units, 36615 are government funded while the rest are self funded units.
Tamil Nadu has more than 4 lakh NSS volunteers
There are more than 36 lakh NSS volunteers across the country. Tamil Nadu has the highest number of NSS volunteers followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka respectively. Only 6 states have more than 2 lakh volunteers each while 14 states have more than a lakh volunteers each. Four UTs have less than 2000 volunteers each. Kerala & Punjab are the only two big states where the number of female NSS volunteers is more than the number of male NSS volunteers. Nagaland has the highest average number of volunteers per unit (525) and West Bengal has the lowest average number of volunteers per unit (45).
The government has allotted Rs 95.98 crore for NSS in 2015-16 more than the Rs 92.18 crore allotted in 2014-15.