National Service Scheme (NSS) - Objectives, Elements, Activities, How to Join etc.


The National Service Scheme (NSS) was launched on 24 September 1969 by Dr. Vijayendra Kasturi Ranga Varadaraja Rao (The Educational Minister during that time) during the birth centenary year of Mahatma Gandhi in around 37 universities that involved approximately 40,000 students, and it is still known to affect more than 75, 000 students across all institutions. The NSS is headquartered in New Delhi. The Programme Advisory is the head of the Scheme who controls all the national issues related to it. It is a form of an extension dimension to the higher education system in India to give the youth of the nation a chance of community service while they are already prospering in educational institutions. It is still in action and implemented by the Ministry Of Youth Affairs and Sports (Government of India).

This Scheme is a government-sponsored public service program that is conducted by the ministry. The goal of this Scheme is to enhance and develop a student's personality through community service. NSS makes an association of youth in colleges, Institutions, Universities, and also in some schools who are working for a community, especially those who have an excellent linkage to villages. The students under NSS are supposed to put two years of their services and their education. Under the NSS scheme, students must provide 120 hours of service every year, and they should participate in at least two of the particular camp's programs held by the National Service Scheme

In simple words, the main aim of this Scheme is education while community service/ social service and community service while doing internship education. The National Service Scheme incorporates special camping programs and some of the regular activities. With this, this service also teaches the youth how to handle pressure while doing education and the importance of the process of community service in a school or college life. It prepares the youth for the best and makes them professionals for their future while handling various challenges that will come their way.

Historical Background

The idea of S. Radhakrishnan led to the birth of the National Service Scheme as a voluntary national service in academic institutions. This happened after the independence of the University Grants Commission only. After that, the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) again reconsidered the decision in a meeting in January 1950. In the meeting, the board had examined other countries' experiences that adopted the same Scheme in the same field. Hence, the board came up with the idea that students and teachers must devote some of their precious time to voluntary social work. Even the First Five Year Draft adopted by the Government in 1952 saw the need for learning labor and social service by India's youth or students. There was a trial of the Scheme for 1 year. In 1958, a letter was sent to the chief ministers by Jawaharlal Nehru that considered the idea of this voluntary Social Service as an essential consideration or requirement for graduation. He then recommended the Ministry of Education make a suitable scheme for introducing the need for national service into educational institutions.

Initial Purpose

  • The sole purpose of this was to create socio-economic progress that would also allow the students to understand, rethink, and appreciate the communities' challenges. It should awaken their social consciousness and inculcate in them a basic sense of dignity and labor.
  • It is also noticed that the students showed much zeal and enthusiasm in various programs taken up under the Scheme even at the same time, there has been a high demand from several institutions and administrations that suggested youth should get the opportunity to go out of their respective Institutions or universities and see a different world and engage themselves on a full-time basis for only a short period and help in the activities taken up for National service and social work. Many attempts have been made in this particular field in many states and countries, and the results are flawless.
  • During the post-independent era, India saw a need to introduce social service and volunteering work to be done by the students as a means of educational reform and to improve the quality of the educated workforce.
  • This was also launched to strengthen the relationship between the teachers and students by establishing an efficient linkage between the campus and the local communities on the other hand.
  • Along with the students, the teachers were also asked to participate in this. This led to the making of social service camps, the village projects, spreading awareness, the campus projects conducted by the NSS. All of these were put forward in front of the students and teachers.
  • In 1957, a draft was put forward before the Education ministers in a conference that suggested the urgent need for making a workable scheme for the national service, and the idea was That education was imparted in many schools and colleges. Something was missing. There was a need to supplement all the academic institutions with some programs that would make the college and school life exciting and arouse some interest in the country's social and economic reconstruction.

National Service Committee

A committee was appointed under the glorious chairmanship of Dr. CD Deshmukh on 28 August 1959 to make some changes and suggestions in the direction of NSS's making. Hence, for nine months, nation service was made compulsory for all the students who completed high school education and are hoping to enroll themselves in a college or university.

The committee made few activities on the top of the list.

1. Social Work

2. Military training

3. Manual labor

4. Extra education

Educational Commission

Another commission was set up that was headed by Dr. D.S.Kothari that suggested that students must compulsory engage themselves in some social service. This was recommended with a talk with all the state ministers in April 1969. 

The students were now allowed to join the National Cadet Corps (NCC), which existed much before voluntarily, and if students are not interested in NCC, NSS was launched as a choice to this.

The students who are promising sportsmen are not allowed to join both NCC and NSS. For them, a separate entity was created, called the National Sports Organisation (NSO), to prioritize the development of sports and athletics.

Vice-Chancellor's Conference – 1967

This was another conference that suggested a special committee should be formed to examine the questions in detail. It was laid down that work experience and national service should be an essential part of education. They unanimously declared that national service is one powerful instrument in the process of national integration.

This was proved useful to introduce urban students to rural life. Many projects were considered permanent value and were also undertaken as a symbol of the student committee's contribution, which will add up to the progress and upliftment of the country. 


  • The main objective of the National Service Scheme is to help the students to teach a democratic attitude along with the confidence to lead
  • The Scheme aims to make the students learn about the importance of sharing responsibilities and creating an attitude that boosts the idea of living together. 
  • Their purpose is to ensure that obligations such as social and civic responsibilities are also developed in the students
  • The students need to learn and have an understanding of the part they play in society
  • Organizational skills play a vital role too, and hence, this Scheme has an aim to focus on them 
  • This Scheme will help the students to teach the strength to handle emergency or challenging situations with calm.
  • It aims to develop practical knowledge and skills in the students so that they can face and find a solution to any hurdle or difficulty in their life 
  • The expertise and the in-depth analysis of the environment they work and live in
  • To develop a sense of responsibility and pointing out the problems faced by society
  • The Scheme also aims to help the children in practicing social harmony

Key Elements

The key elements of The National Service Scheme are 

  • The Teachers
  • The Community
  • The Scheme and The Programme
  • The Students

Symbol Of The National Service Scheme (NSS)

  • Placed at the Konark Sun Temple, Odisha, the symbol of The National Service Scheme, is inspired by the Rath wheel. 
  • The badge is navy-blue, which represents the fact that this Scheme will do its part to better the nation.
  • On the other hand, the red color in the badge puts a light on the fact that the volunteers of The National Service Scheme (NSS) are highly energetic and lively. 

How To Join NSS?

  • To join the National Service Scheme (NSS), the students will have to register 
  • Moreover, the students must be from a bona fide University or College or School
  • Any student who has passed class 10 can become a volunteer in the National Service Scheme
  • All the volunteers get a certificate of service under the National Service Scheme after they complete it
  • There is no enrolment fee for the students to join as a volunteer
  • The students can also avail of a lot of other benefits.


There are various kinds of activities that take place under the National Service Scheme (NSS)?

  1. A lot of adventure programs take place
  2. The plantation is one of the prevalent activities
  3. Blood donation is one of the critical activities that take place 
  4. Another one of the prominent activities is the National Integration Camp
  5. Disaster Management
  6. Immunization
  7. Shramdaan

Administration And Structure

  • When it comes to schools and colleges, the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit has its basic unit. 
  • The National Service Scheme (NSS) unit that the institutions get is based on their size and student volunteers.
  • Generally, the National Service Scheme (NSS) has an approximate of 100 students.
  • Programme Officer is the one who is kept in charge of these National Service Scheme (NSS) units. Hence, the Programme Officer has the responsibility to implement the programs and manage everything else. 
  • When it comes to the regional level, various local centers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) get made
  • The creation of the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit depends upon the state's size and the number of students, etc.
  • Assistant Programme Advisor or Deputy Programme Advisor is the person who manages everything on the regional level of the National Service Scheme (NSS)
  • When it comes to the state level, the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit is taken care of and managed by the state's Liaison Officer.
  • The Government Of the particular state funds the financial support and the expenses for everything else under the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit.
  • When it comes to the university level, the National Service Scheme (NSS) cell handles the National Service Scheme (NSS) programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who launched The National Service Scheme (NSS) and when?

The education minister of India, Doctor V.K. R.V. Rao, launched the National Service Scheme (NSS) on 24 September 1969. He covered around 37 universities and covered all states and 40,000 students as the National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers.

You can learn more about this scheme on the official website.

Q: In which city does the National Service Scheme (NSS) have its headquarters in?

The National Service Scheme (NSS) has its headquarters in New Delhi, India.

Q: How can I be a part of the National Service Scheme (NSS)?

It is effortless to be a part of the National Service Scheme (NSS). You have to register in any National Service Scheme (NSS) unit with the help of the respective Programme Officer. Please keep in mind that you will have to be a bonafide student of a School/University/College.

Q: I am a student of class-9. Can I join as a volunteer in the National Service Scheme (NSS)?

No, you cannot join the National Service Scheme (NSS) as a volunteer as the minimum qualification required to join is that the student should be in class 11.

Q: How many regional centers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) does India have?

There are a total of 15 regional centers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) in India. 

Q: When does our country observe the National Service Scheme (NSS) day?

National Service Scheme (NSS) day is observed on 24 September every year.