Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports organized a National level Conference here today with the objective of having deliberations for further strengthening and restructuring National Service Scheme (NSS). NSS was introduced in 1969 and this is the first time in the history of the programme that an exercise of this magnitude has been undertaken at the personal initiative of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel.
In his keynote address, Vijay Goel emphasized that over the years while the needs of the community and the aspirations of the youth have changed, the structure of the NSS has largely remained the same. There is pressing need to restructure the programme in tune with the current needs. He emphasized need for concrete action on ground. As an example, he called upon the participants to take up a massive programme of adoption of urban slums by NSS units and working for their all-round development, including cleaning and sanitation, literacy, healthcare, and so on. The NSS units should work in a focused manner with missionary zeal to make these adopted slums as model areas.
Referring to a number of path-breaking initiatives for all-round development of the country launched by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the Minister said, NSS should play a key role in taking these programmes to masses and making all possible efforts for success of these programmes. He emphasized that the NSS should be known all over India by its work. For instance, if there is a natural calamity, NSS volunteers should be the first to respond and be there on the spot to provide rescue and relief.
The day-long conference had a very broad-based participation of all stakeholders of NSS, including State Secretaries in-charge of NSS, regional directors of NSS, state NSS officers, vice chancellors of universities, college principals, programme coordinators/ programme officers of NSS and NSS volunteers from across the country, besides the Central Government officials concerned with the programme.
The participants shared their best practices and experiences as also the problem confronting the programmes and gave their suggestions and recommendations. The issues covered related to improving the programme content, administrative and financial issues.
While some of the issues were resolved on the spot, for other issues, Vijay Goel directed that the issues shall be taken up with concerned authorities like UGC. In some complex issues requiring further consultations, it was decided to form a Committee for further consultation with stakeholders to arrive at well-considered decisions. The minister assured that necessary and prompt action will be ensured by his ministry on the suggestions and recommendations made by the participants during the conference.