National Service Scheme (NSS) Unit

Programme Officer:- Dr. Arun Kumar, Asst. Professor, Community Medicine Department, L.L.R.M. Medical College, Meerut. Email:draruntandon@rediffmail.com.National Service Scheme (NSS) is an Indian government-sponsored program under the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Government of India. It was started in 1969.


The University Grants Commission headed by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan recommended introduction of national service in the academic institutions on a voluntary basis. This idea was again considered by the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) at its meeting held in January, 1950 and after examining the various aspects of this idea and the experiences 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 labour service for the students of India for one year was stressed. In 1958, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in his letter to the Chief Ministers mooted the idea of having social service as a prerequisite for graduation. He also directed the Ministry of Education to formulate a suitable scheme for introduction of national service into the academic institutions.

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 education convened by the Ministry of Education and the University Grants Commission also unanimously opined that the national service scheme could be a powerful instrument for national integration. The details were soon worked out and finally the Planning Commission sanctioned an outlay of Rs. 5 crores for National Service Scheme (NSS) during the Fourth Five Year Plan period. It was stipulated that the NSS programme should be started as a pilot project in select institutions and universities. On 24 September 1969, the then Union Education Minister Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao launched the National Service Scheme in 37 universities covering all States. At present, the scheme has been extended to all the states and universities in the country and also covers +2 level learning institutes in many states.


The motto of the National Service Scheme (N.S.S.) is "Not Me, Not You, But We", This expresses the essence of democratic living and upholds the need for selfless services and appreciation of another man's point of view and also show consideration for fellow human beings. It underlines the welfare of an individual is ultimately dependent on the welfare of the society as a whole. Therefore it should be the aim of the N.S.S. to demonstrate this motto in its day-to-day activities.


Camps are conducted annually. These activities are fully funded by the Government of India. Such camps are usually located in a rural village or in suburbs. Volunteers may be involved in activities such as

1. Cleaning

2. Afforestation

3. Stage shows or Procession creating awareness on social problems, education, cleanliness etc.

4. Inviting doctors for health camps.

There are no pre-defined or pre-assigned tasks. It is left to the volunteers to provide service to society in any way that is feasible. Camps typically last between a week to ten days. Camps for shorter periods are also conducted.

Major Projects Undertaken

1. Adoption of Village

2. Construction and repair of roads

3. Afforestation

4. Conducting Literacy Classes

5. Water conservation Project

6. Plastic Eradication