National Services Scheme (NSS) is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is being implemented since 1969 for developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service.
Currently, there are 32.5 lakhs NSS volunteers in senior secondary schools, colleges and universities, but the same is less than 15% of the student strength eligible to join NSS. The expansion of the NSS has been constrained by the availability of funding support from the Government.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had introduced the framework for opening of the self-financing units of NSS in October, 2007 so that expansion of NSS network can continue irrespective of Government funding and the SFUs mechanism has met with limited success. Total enrolment under SFUs is only about one lakh volunteers so far.
According to the feedback from all concerned stakeholders, the Ministry has decided to simplify the Operational Guidelines for setting up of SFUs. Accordingly, the requirements regarding Application Form/ Supporting Documents has been greatly simplified and the power to sanction SFUs has been delegated to a State Level Committee of the University and the Regional Centre Head of NSS. The guidelines have been notified and can be seen on the NSS website and It is expected that this step shall be a long way in popularizing the NSS movement in the country.