Ajay Maken, Minister of State ( Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports has stressed the need of reforming the National Service Scheme ( NSS) to make it more effective & relevant in the changed environment . Shri Maken was speaking at 42nd Foundation Day celebrations of NSS and Indira Gandhi NSS (IGNSS) Awards distribution ceremony held here today. At the function, which was attended by Shri S. Ramadorai , Adviser to the Prime Minister in National Skill Development Council ( NSDC) , Shri Maken and Shri Ramadorai gave away IGNSS Awards for the year 2010-11 to NSS Volunteers/ Programme Officers in recognition of the services rendered by them in the areas like Health, Environment, Sanitation, Education and in National Building Activities.
As a part of reforms in the NSS, Shri Maken supported the idea suggested by Shri Ramadorai for introduction of flexibility in the programmes of the NSS in the colleges and universities. He further advocated for regular evaluation of programmes to know the objectives being achieved. Keeping in view the above suggestions, Shri Maken said that the NSS Scheme needs to be remodelled.
Lauding the role played by the NSS volunteers in disaster management and in the National integration, Shri Maken emphasised the need for making Youth physically fit and for their skill development. He said “ We are sitting on largest human resources . So there is need for physical fitness of youth and their skill development. Otherwise, we will not be able to get proper benefit of largest human resources.” In this direction , Shri Maken also suggested that the NSS volunteers should be able be acquire skills while performing social service , so that NSS volunteers can able to get job as soon as they come out of the college /universities.
While delivering the keynote address, Shri Ramadorai acclaimed the role of the NSS as a powerful instrument for national integration and further stated that voluntary service adds value to the society and leads to better understanding of social issues. Shri Ramadorai strongly advocated the need for adding new programmes in the NSS to make it more relevant in the changed environment. He also suggested for using the NSS as an instrument for achieving the goal of inclusive growth and computerisation of data of 3.2 million volunteers in the country . On the occasion, Shri Maken also released a CD on NSS Youth Songs developed by Ahmedabad Unit of the NSS.
About National Service Scheme (NSS):
The NSS is one of the Flagship programmes of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports , which was launched in 1969 to commemorate the birth centenary Year of Mahatma Gandhi. The main objective of the Scheme is to develop qualities of good citizenship and volunteerism in student youth. The Scheme has 32 lakh volunteers. In 42 years of its implementation about 5 crore students have been associated with this Scheme . The Indira Gandhi NSS Awards were launched in 1993-94 to commemorate the completion of 25 years of the Scheme. These awards are given annually in four categories to a University, Programme Officers, NSS units and NSS volunteers.