The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that National Service Scheme (NSS) was introduced in 1969 with the primary objective of developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service. The NSS volunteers offer their voluntary services in various development processes & welfare activities initiated by Govt. The NSS volunteers undertake two types of activities:
(i) Regular Activities: During the Regular activities they devote 120 hours per year for two consecutive years which includes 20 hours of general orientation regarding NSS and the mode of work they have to do in their volunteer ship.
(ii) Special Camping Programmes: To familiarize the student volunteers of NSS to the community, a Special Camp for 7 days is provided to all the volunteers during their tenure. These camps are residential and organized in the community based on specific themes.
Objectives of NSS: NSS aims at developing the following qualities/ competencies among the volunteers:
- a) To understand the community in which the NSS volunteers work and to understand themselves in relation to their community;
- b) To identify the needs and problems of the community and involve themselves in problem-solving exercise;
- c) To develop among themselves a sense of social and civic responsibility;
- d) To utilize their knowledge in finding practical solutions to individual and community problems;
- e) To gain skills in mobilizing community participation;
- f) To acquire leadership qualities and democratic values;
- g) To develop capacity to meet emergencies and natural disasters;
- h) To practice national integration and social harmony.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha Shri Sonowal said, the allocation of NSS volunteers to States/UTs are based on the target set by the Government and the additional demand received from the States/UTs in such a way so as to have proportionate representation of all States/UTs. However, due to funds constraints, the Government is not in a position to provide funding to all the eligible and interested institutions for setting up NSS units. To facilitate this, the Government has permitted setting up of Self-Financing Units (SFUs) of NSS. Such units are at par with Government-funded units with the only difference is that the funding is arranged by the concerned educational institutions. In some of these cases, the educational institutions collect a nominal fees from the students to meet the expenses of operation of the NSS units. Hence, States/UTs may meet the additional demand (other than Government funded units) through SFUs. The name of the States/UTs which have sent proposal to the Government for increasing the number of students under NSS are given at Annexure-I.
The Minister said, the Government has received proposal from the Government of Chhattisgarh to increase the NSS volunteer strength from 93,000 to 1, 10,000. The proposal was examined by the Government and additional 14,000 were allocated to Government of Chhattisgarh through SFU (Self Financing Unit).