The National Service Scheme is an Indian Government sponsored public service programme conducted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Government of India. In India, the idea of involving students in the task of National service dates back to the times of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. Aimed at developing student’s personality through community service, NSS is a voluntary association of young people in colleges. The programme aims to instill the idea of social welfare in students, and to provide service to society without bias. NSS volunteers work to ensure that everyone who is needy gets help to enhance their standard of living and lead a life of dignity.
In doing so, volunteers learn from people in villages how to lead a good life despite a scarcity of resources. It also provides help in natural and man-made disaster by providing food, clothing and first aid to the disaster’s victims.
At National level, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India is the nodal authority, which works with state-level NSS cells. State-level NSS cells are responsibility of the respective state governments. Within states, each university has University level NSS cell under which institutions (schools and colleges) based NSS units operate. Most government and government-aided institutions have volunteer NSS units. They are managed internally by a responsible party from the school or college, who reports to the regional NSS coordinator.