The National Service Scheme (NSS) is a Central Sector Scheme of Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports to give an extension dimension to the higher education system. The idea of establishing linkages between campus and community through orienting the student youth to community service, while they are studying in educational institution has its firm roots in the vision of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our nation. The National Service Scheme which has been launched during the Gandhi Centenary Year on September 24, 1969, is thus a unique platform for educational institutions to address the needs of the community and create awareness among the students about the realities of life, by providing a better understanding and appreciation of the problems of the people.
The primary objective of NSS is developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service. The operational aim of NSS is to integrate the three basic components such as student youth, teachers and the community. NSS provides a variety of learning experiences which aids to develop a sense of participation, service and achievement among the volunteers.
The motto of the National Service Scheme is: ‘NOT ME BUT YOU’. It underlines that the welfare of an individual is ultimately dependent on the welfare of society on the whole.
There are two types of activities: Regular Activities (120 hours) and Annual Special Camp (120 hours). All the NSS Volunteers who have served NSS for at least 2 years and have performed 240 hours of work under NSS are entitled to a certificate from the university under the signature of the Vice-Chancellor and the Programme Coordinator. The Annual camps are known as Special Camps. Camps are held annually, funded by the government of India, and are usually located in a rural village or a city suburb.
Major national level activities organized by NSS are National Integration Camp (NIC), Adventure Program, NSS Republic Day Parade Camp, and National Youth Festivals. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India has instituted the National Service Scheme Awards to recognize the voluntary service rendered by NSS volunteers, Programme Officers, NSS units and the university/senior secondary council. Apart from these, all volunteers who successfully complete 240 hours of service are eligible to get grace marks.
NSS in CMS College – An Outline
National service scheme in CMS College has been committed to the foundation alliberative vision of the college in its diverse avenues of community service since its inception in 1972. The unit in CMS College encompasses unit number 11 and 11Bunder Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam with a capacity of hundred volunteers in each unit. One unit is for first year degree students and the second year degree students are accommodated in the other unit.
The various community services, sensitisation and awareness programmes and projects organized by the unit for the general public as well as for specific target groups give priority to environmental protection, sustainability, upliftment of the marginalized sections etc. Precisely planned projects and activities extending support and service in the adopted village is another main focus of the unit. While the motto of NSS not me but you is the guiding spirit, personality development of the volunteers through selfless service is an uncompromisable aim of all activities by the unit.
An aspiring NSS volunteer in CMS College should be:
- a first year degree student
- a person of good character and conduct with positive outlook
- having an attitude of ever-readiness for service and assigned tasks
- capable of co-operation and teamwork
- able to work for the welfare of humanity beyond all kinds of divisive interests such as religion, caste, political party, ideology, class, gender etc.
Application (google form /hard copy) for membership in NSS is called for from the first year degree students immediately after the commencement of the classes. From among the list of applicants, 100 volunteers are selected through various appropriate criteria such as personal interview, participation and performance in various activities etc.
The NSS Programme Officers Are