NSS Basic Concepts

  • NSS Basic Concepts
  • Programmes & Activities
  • Weeks/Days Observed

The NSS Badge Proud To Serve The Nation:

All the youth volunteers who opt to serve the nation through the NSS led community service wear the NSS badge with pride and a sense of responsibility towards helping needy. The Konark wheel in the NSS badge having 8 bars signifies the 24 hours of the day, reminding the wearer to be ready for the service of the nation round the clock i.e. for 24 hours. Red colour in the badge signifies energy and spirit displayed by the NSS volunteers. The Blue colour signifies the cosmos of which the NSS is a tiny part, ready to contribute its share for the welfare of the mankind.


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 doctrined 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.

NSS Day:

NSS was formally launched on 24th September, 1969, the birth centenary year of the Father of the Nation. Therefore, 24 September is celebrated every year as NSS Day with appropriate programmes and activities.

NSS Song:

During Silver Jubilee Year the NSS theme song has been composed. All NSS volunteers are expected to learn the theme song and sing the song during NSS programmes and celebrations.

NSS-Programmes and Activities

The National Service Scheme was started to establish a meaningful linkage between the campus and the community. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, had recognized that the country could not progress in a desired direction until the student youth were motivated to work for the upliftment of the villages/community. For Gandhiji the villages, where majority of the population lived, represent the country i.e. India. Therefore, for the national reconstruction and national resurgence it was deemed fit that the students and teachers should be properly sensitized and utilized for strengthening the Indian society as a whole with particular emphasis on rural community. Therefore, student youth, teachers and the community are considered the three basic components of the National Service Scheme.

NSS Programme Officer

The Programme Officer, who is a member of the teaching faculty, provides necessary leadership to the youth/NSS students. The teacher/NSS programme officer has the professional knowledge and skills. He/she is also a representative of the college and the educated elite and knows the needs and aspirations of student youth. Further he/she is expected to be a role model of the values and the norms of the institution and the society as a whole. Therefore, he/she is the fittest person to provide necessary lead to the students in developing their personality through community service. In fact the Programme Officer is a friend, philosopher and guide to the students in achieving this goal. He/she must undergo ETI training.

NSS Volunteer

The NSS volunteer, who is a college student is the main beneficiary of the programme by way of development of his/her perception about the community, his/her skill to perform certain jobs, and develop quality of a leader, organiser, and an administrator and development of his/her personality as a whole. Through NSS, he/she gets opportunities to see the community closely and thus gets an experience of human nature in relation to his/her environment. This is how the NSS programme aims to make NSS student youth better citizens through “Development of their personality through Community Service”.

  • A student should have completed a minimum of two years of volunteer-ship in NSS.
  • He/ She should have participated in atleast two Special Camping Programme and at least once in National Programmes like R.D. Parade Camp in Delhi, National Integration Camps, National Motivation Camps, Inter State Youth Exchange Programmes etc. sponsored by the Department of youth Affairs and Sports.
  • He / She should not be less than 18 years and more than 25 years in age. In case od SC / ST, the upper age limit can be relaxed by 3 years. In other words, the maximum age limit should be 28 years for SC / ST.
  • He / She should have completed 240 hours of community service during two consecutive years of volunteer ship and one seven days special village camp.
  • His / Her academic performance should have been reasonably good.

Who can enroll:

Any person who is enroll himself / herself as a regular student in any undergraduate course at +2 stage affiliated to the Universities recognized by UGC / State Government. Only for NSS open unit at the University level any person who is socially oriented and in willing to devote his / her time for social service can enroll himself / herself.

When he / she can enroll:

As soon as he / she secures admission for his / her studies for the above mentioned course he is eligible to enroll himself / herself in NSS as a volunteer . Generally the enrollment is done between June and July of every academic year.

Whom to contact:

A assistant Professor / teacher who is incharge of NSS activities in the institution where you are studying should be contacted. The NSS in-charge is designated as NSS programme officer. If you don't get the information then you can contact the Principal/registrar of the institution. For NSS open unit contact NSS Programme coordinator of the University.

What is duration of Volunteer ship:

Students selected as NSS volunteers are expected to work in the scheme for a period of two years continuously and render community service for at least 240 hours and also should participate is special camping programmes of 7 days duration.


Admission Fees may be charged from students who wish to join NSS as per NSS manual and Government.

What are the formalities:

A student who wants to join NSS her to fill a enrollment form which is supplied by the institution where he / she is studying.

National Level Awards:

In order to recognize the outstanding contributions of NSS volunteers, programme officers, Units / Colleges and Universities a number of University, State Level and National Level Awards have been instituted from the year 1993-94.

Benefit of Students/ NSS volunteers:

  • Personality Development
  • Incentive
  • Preference in Admission / Employment
  • National Integration camp, Adventure Programme, State level as well as National Level programme
  • It helps in aquiring leadership qualities and democratic attitude.
  • It provides diversified opportunities to students in colleges and universities to develop their personality through community service.
  • It developer a sense of involvement in the task of nation building.
  • Volunteers interaction with the slum dwellers and villagers expose them to the realities of life and bring about a change in their social perception.
  • It helps in developing positive attitude, self confidence, courage & patience.
  • It helps in developing his / her skill to perform certain jobs, quality of an organiser, an administrator and development of personality as a whole.
  • He / she gets opportunities to see the community closely and thus gets an experience of human nature in relation to his / her environment.
  • Gets the opportunity to meet the people from different walks of life.
  • He/she gets the opportunity to participate in various National / State level programme such as National Integration, Motivational camps, value oriented self development camps, Adventure camps, workshops. Youth exhibition, cultural programmes etc.
  • A National service scheme contingent ( boys and girls ) participants selected after a rigorous test participates in the Republic day parade camp for 3 weeks at New Delhi in the month of January every year.
  • NSS volunteer completing 240 hours of regular community service in a period of two years is to be issued an NSS certificate by the college / +2 level Institution or the University / Directorate of education.


The community provides NSS volunteer the first hand knowledge of living conditions of masses to the NSS volunteers and thus, the process of mutual learning starts. The interaction of community with students and teachers while on one hand enrich the personality of student volunteers and on the other hand help the community to improve its living conditions.

Aims of NSS Programmes / Activities

The operational aim of NSS is to integrate the three basic components of the programme. NSS programme should provide a variety of learning experiences which must develop a sense of participation, service and achievement among the volunteers. The activities should aim at the following:

  • Making education more relevant to the present situation to meet the felt needs of the community and supplement the education of the university/college students by bringing them face to face with the rural situation;
  • Providing opportunities to the students to play their role in planning and executing development projects which would not only help in creating durable community assets in rural areas and urban slums but also results in the improvement of quality of life of the economically and socially weaker sections of the community;
  • Developing qualities of leadership by discovering the latent potential among the campers, both students as well as local youth (Rural and Urban), with a view to involve them more intimately in the development programme and also to ensure proper maintenance of the assets created during the camps;
  • Emphasizing dignity of labour and self- help and the need for combining physical work with intellectual pursuits;
  • Encouraging youth to participate enthusiastically in the process of national development and promote national integration, through corporate living and cooperative action.
  • While undertaking these activities, each NSS unit should envisage its programmes/activities aimed at instilling discipline, building character, promotion of physical fitness and development of culture.

Classification of NSS Programme

NSS activities have been divided in two major groups. These are regular NSS activities and special camping programme

  • Regular NSS Activity :

Under this, students undertake various programmes in the adopted villages, college/school campuses and urban slums during weekends or after college hours;

  • Special Camping Programme

Under this, camps of 7 days duration are organised in adopted villages or urban slums during vacations with some specific projects by involving local communities. 50% NSS volunteers are expected to participate in these camps.

Regular and Special Camping Programme:

Environment Enrichment and Conservation:

Whereas the main theme for the special camping programme would be “Youth for Sustainable Development ", activities aimed at environment enrichment would be organised under the sub-theme of “Youth for Better Environment ". The activities under this sub-theme would inter-alia, include:

  • Plantation of trees, their preservation and upkeep (each NSS Unit should plant and protect at least 1000 saplings;
  • Creation of NSS parks / gardens,
  • Construction & maintenance of village streets, drains, etc. so as to keep the environment clean;
  • Construction of sanitary latrines etc.
  • Cleaning of village ponds and wells;
  • Popularization and construction of Gobar Gas Plants, use of non-conventional energy;
  • Environmental sanitation, and disposal of garbage, & composting;
  • Prevention of soil erosion, and work for soil conservation,
  • Watershed management and wasteland development
  • Preservation and upkeep of monuments, and creation of consciousness about the preservation of cultural heritage among the community.

Health, Family Welfare and Nutrition Program :

  • Programmes of mass immunization ;
  • Working with people in nutrition programmes with the help of Home Science and medical college students;
  • Provision of safe and clean drinking water;
  • Health education, AIDS Awareness and preliminary health care.
  • Population education and family welfare programme.
  • Life Style Education centers and counseling centers.

Programmes aimed at creating an awareness for improvement of the status of women:

  • Programme of educating people and making them aware of women’s rights both constitutional and legal ;
  • Creating consciousness among women that they too contribute to economic and social well-being of the community ;
  • Creating awareness among women that there is no occupation or vocation which is not open to them provided they acquire the requisite skills, and imparting training to women in sewing, embroidery, knitting and other skills wherever possible.


Adoption of a village and area is a very meaningful programme in NSS. It is far better to concentrate attention on one village and take up the task for development perspective, than to fritter away energy in many locations involving too many activities which may not be completed at all or where the follow up action may not be possible. From this point of view, village adoption programme should ensure continuity of work vis-à-vis sustained action, evaluation and follow up work. As a first step in this programme, it is necessary to establish contact with several village and rural units which would help to select a village where' Leadership' is well developed. In other words selected a village with proper leadership is all the more important as the sustained follow up action and evaluation is doubly assured. To start with the NSS Unit can take the help of the Block Authorities, District Panchayat Officer, District Tribal Welfare Officer, D.M.O. and D.H.C. and District Agriculture, Irrigation and Education Officers for the selection of the village. It is to be noted that the village selected should be within a short distance from the college so that there could be constant touch with it. Before the programme and plan of action is drawn, it is absolutely necessary to conduct a comprehensive survey of a few villages situated at a short distance from the college. The assistance and aid from the teachers and students of Economics, Commerce, Statistics, Home Science, Psychology and Education etc-. have to be mobilized for the purpose. On the basis of said survey the programme so prepared should cater for better agricultural, educational, socio-medical and health-care and awareness among the villagers. Thus the village adoption programme could be carried out by the following three combination :

  • Programme which can be taken up without NSS resources.
  • Programme requiring joint efforts of NSS volunteers and villagers.

Camp Programme:

  • It is very essential to prepare a suitable schedule for the camp, so that it helps to develop a sense of discipline and devotion among the campers. As the camp is an occasion for establishing rapport with the community, it should not be treated as a picnic or excursion.
  • No uniform schedule of activities can be suggested for a work camp due to considerable variety in the scope and content of the projects, the NSS units should ensure that various activities undertaken during the camp are so planned and organised that it ultimately leads to fulfillment of the objectives of holding a camp. In addition to some manual work, the camp should provide opportunity for community living, discussion in group and cultural activities etc. A good camp can adopt the following daily schedule of important activities: 
  • It is advisable that during the course of discussions on various topics and the cultural programs – maximum number of villagers/residents (irrespective of their age) are provided an opportunity to benefit from such discussion and cultural programs. If some of them are unable to participate in the manual work, but are interested in discussions and cultural programs , this may be encouraged. Cultural programs , may, as far as possible, be of educative value with social message. Efforts should be made to get some documentary films on development issues screened for the benefit of the community.
  • It has been decided that as a part of the camp, the students should be taken to nearby projects with a rural development content like IRDP, NREP, ICDS, mid-day meals, adult literacy, village roads and sanitation, rural cooperative housing activity, dairying and animal husbandry, social forestry, soil and water conservation projects, and monuments of historical importance, to educate them about the cultural heritage as well as economic and technological advancement of the country. It would be necessary to spend a day for this purpose by economizing on the budget provided for Special Camping have to be made considering the weather conditions and other variables. On certain occasions socio cultural programs could be organized in the community itself.

Organisation of Camp:

  • Each camp will have 1-2 teachers and 2-5 student leaders who will work as camp organizers / work supervisors. Each camp may consist of 50 participants.
  • Active participation of local student and non-student youth may be ensured. This can be done through suitable cultural and educational program, through dance, drama, music etc. undertaken in the evenings in cooperation with the local peoples and for made arrangements for camp.
  • The NSS Program Officers should ensure adequate representation of students belonging to SC/ST and minority communities, so that young person’s belonging to these communities feel fully involved in the development of the country.
  • Female NSS volunteers should be encouraged to participate in the camps organized by the co-educational Institutions.

Organisation of Camp:

  • Maximum number of NSS volunteer leaders and teaching community of the institution may be involved in conducting the camp.
  • All NSS volunteers participating in the camp should be divided into different groups. Each one will undertake activities according to one’s aptitude, educational qualification and skill. For example, one team can take up mass immunisation against preventable diseases, another team can look after environmental sanitation and popularisation of Gobar Gas Plants; yet another team can concentrate its work on provision of potable water or other activities chosen by the institution etc. Each group may have a few local non-student youth so as to ensure local support on voluntary basis, and to ensure proper follow-up to the programmes during the term time.
  • The management of the camps may be done through Committees which take care of various aspects of camp life. Punctuality and discipline should be emphasized. All the participants including the teachers should strictly abide by the camp rules and stay in the camp. It is suggested that the following Committees may be formed for running the camp :-

It will look after the food arrangements of the camp ;

To conduct the day-to-day activities of the camp ;

To take care of the project work including supply of tools and equipment.

To arrange the cultural programmes in the way that all participants get opportunity to show their skill and talent. Group performance may be given preference over individual performance.

It will look after the discipline in the camp.

It will look after the guests in the camp, and make necessary arrangements for their arrival and departure.

Organisation of Camp:

  • The NSS camp will be of 7 days duration. The NSS volunteers are expected to be in the camp throughout the period including on the inaugural day and depart from the camp only on closing day after valedictory function.
  • Camps beyond 7 days may be organized by the Institution subject to the condition that no additional finance will be made available. The additional expenditure may be met by exercising economy in the camp expenditure. The camp may be extended by 3 days over and above the mandatory period of 7 days.
  • In case an important project has been undertaken and it remains incomplete and it is very essential to the community, the NSS units may plan to organize a second camp or through frequent visits to complete the project.

Lodging Arrangements:

  • The lodging arrangements of the camp should be made in a building of the village or panchayat/school.
  • In case of non-availability, a community building like Panchayat house etc. should be utilized for such purpose., with the consent of the influential peoples of the village.
  • No camp should be held in the premises of the own college / school. The NSS volunteers must reside in the adopted area where the camp is being held.
  • Generally, slums in metropolitan cities are not convenient for the students to stay overnight during the project. In such cases. the arrangements for stay should be made in the institution itself (the colleges and schools are expected to adopt nearby slums). however, where this is not possible, Day camp can be organized. This provision is only for Urban units, who find it extremely difficult to get suitable accommodation for campers.
    The approval of the Program Coordinator from the University should be obtained in advance for organizing ‘ Day camps ‘.

Board Arrangements:

  • The mess should be managed by Mess Committee. The practice of giving the responsibility of food supply to a contractor should be avoided.
  • Food in the camps should be simple but balanced. It should be at minimum cost and as far as possible, prepared out of locally available materials. Meals should be carefully planned with the assistance of such institutions and individuals having knowledge of food and nutrition as may be available in the State. The participants should also be explained about meal planning as an educational lesson; and its propagation among the local community should be an important extension activity of the campers.
  • It should be ensured that the food served in the camp is not very much different from the general standard of the villagers living in the area.

Project Work :

  • The projects should be selected as per the guidelines, after identifying the needs of the village / slum. No project should be undertaken, which is irrelevant to the needs of the village / slum.
  • The project should be approved by the competent authority to avoid conflict at later states.
  • The availability of the materials / equipment and technical advice may be ensured in advance for the success of the project.
  • All efforts should be made to complete the project during the camp period itself. Every precaution should be taken not to leave the project incomplete.

List of International and National Weeks/Days observed by National Service Scheme (NSS):


12th January

26th January

30th January

8th March

7th April

21st May

31st May

5th June

11th July

15th August

20th August

8th September

15th September

24th September

1st October

2nd October

1st December

10th December

Observance of weeks


12-19 January

1-7 July

8-14 July

1-15 August

19 -25 November