Y.S. RANA, CHANDIGARH—A decision of the Union Grants Commission (UGC) is likely to bring more bureaucrats who have sufficient practical knowledge in community services during their academic career as the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has decided to incorporate NSS as an elective subject in higher education across the country on a pilot project from this academic session. Letters to this effect have been sent to all universities on August 13, 2015 by Jaspal S Sandhu, Vice-Chancellor of all Universities asking to implement NSS as an elective subject in their respective university from the current session.
Confirming this Bikram Rana, SLO, Chandigarh NSS Cell, said that a letter along with template course curriculum submitted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, GOI, to the UGC was received in his office. The course has been designed a template of NSS curriculum for introduction of NSS as credit based elective subject and the Pilot programme will reposition it into National Service and Skill Development Scheme (NSSD), says Mr Rana. “Fast changes in the socio-economic in the past necessitated the ministry to review the NSS,” said Mr Rana.
Aims at introducing career and market-oriented skill enhancing add-on courses with potential to use youth power for nation building, the UGC has circulated the syllabus and curriculum to all universities in the States and Union Territories across the country. The course will be offered only to the students of first year graduation and total duration of the course will be of three years having six semesters. According to template course curriculum of each semester will have five units of 100 marks that includes 60 marks for theory and 40 marks for practical/project work.
Mr Rana further stated that the syllabus was prepared in such a way that covered all aspects of NSSD such as basic concepts of NSS; its programmes and community related activities; youth and crime; yoga to vocational skill development including issues like environment; disaster management; documentation and reporting. Besides, students will be taught life skills; national integration; youth and women empowerment; human rights; gender sensitivity; social evils.
Before finalizing the template course curriculum the UGC has arranged to conduct four workshops at four zonal levels across the country to give final touch to the study course. These workshops were attended by a number of experts across the country and expressed their views and suggestions in this context. Last year, the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) had hosted workshops at zonal level on considering NSS as an elective subject. The AIU members were put on the job to prepare a comprehensive course curriculum.
The recommendations of these workshops based on the practical experience of AIU members were received at UGC office. On the basis of these recommendations, the UGC has compiled and prepared a comprehensive curriculum that will form the teaching course to students opting for NSS as an elective subject.
Mr Rana believes that the move of the UGC giving academics status to NSS would in turn likely to bring more young officers in charge of a young country who had vast theoretical as well as practical working experience community activities which would help them in formulating policies for the welfare of community at large.