The media may have glossed over a huge sum set aside for the youths in India in the budget -2022-23.

And, with a view to achieving the goal to develop the personality and leadership qualities of the youth and to engage them in community service for nation-building activities across the country, the Government of India has decided to continue the NSS over the 15th Finance Commission Cycle (2021-22 to 2025-26) at an outlay of Rs. 1,627 Crore. 

The Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur thanked Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for approving the continuation of NSS. 

The Minister has stated, “On behalf of the Ministry and all stakeholders, I express our deep gratitude to the Prime Minister for extending the tenure of NSS for another five years as well as bringing it into prominence by increasing its budgetary allocation by 97% in Budget 2022-23. 

The NSS is an Ongoing Central Sector Scheme of the Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India.  The Scheme was launched in the year 1969 with the primary objective of developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service. The ideological orientation of the NSS is inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. Very appropriately, the motto of NSS is “NOT ME, BUT YOU “in Hindi “स्वयं से पहले आप”. 

NSS is implemented in Senior Secondary Schools, Colleges and Universities in all States and UTs across the country. The design of the NSS envisages that each educational institution covered under the Scheme has at least one NSS unit comprising of normally 100 student volunteers, led by a teacher designated as Programme Officer (PO). Each NSS unit adopts a village or slum for taking up its activities. An NSS volunteer is required to undertake the following work/activities:

Regular NSS Activity: Each NSS volunteer is required to put in minimum 120 hours of community service per year for two years, i.e., total 240 hours. This work is undertaken in villages/ slums adopted by NSS unit or school/college campuses, usually after study hours or during weekends. 

Special Camping Programme: Each NSS unit organizes a Special Camp of 7days’ duration in adopted villages or urban slums during vacations with some specific projects by involving the local communities. Each volunteer is required to participate in a Special Camp once during the 2-year period. 

Briefly, the NSS volunteers work on issues of social relevance, which keep evolving in response to the needs of the community, through regular and special camping activities. Such issues include (i) literacy and education, (ii) health, family welfare and nutrition, (iii) environment conservation, (iv) social service programmes, (v) programmes for the empowerment of women, (vi) programmes connected with economic development activities, (vii) rescue and relief during calamities, etc.

Some other programmes of NSS are- (i) National Integration Camp (NIC) (ii) National Adventure Camps Program (iii) Pre- Republic Day Camps (iv) Republic Day Parade Camp (v) National North East  Festivals (vi) National Service Scheme Award.

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