Having recommended start of 20 self-financing units in as many self-financing colleges to the Regional Directorate of National Service Scheme, the Bharathidasan University is poised to increase the number of NSS units under its fold substantially.
There are currently about 300 NSS units in government and government-aided colleges for which the funding is provided by the Central Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Self-financing colleges have begun to evince interest to start self-financing NSS units as a certificate of exposure to the awareness and outreach activities would fetch them two additional marks in the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Exams, according to college heads.
"There is now an awakening among the self-financing colleges about starting NSS units. We encourage colleges to be a part of the national service scheme," A. Lakshmi Praba, NSS Programme Coordinator, Bharathidasan University, said.
Some colleges choose to have as many as five NSS units of 100 students each - 50 students from first year of UG and the rest from the second year.
The annual funding support from the Central Government for a 100-member NSS unit works out to ₹ 47,500, encompassing the expenditure incurred on volunteers for conduct of regular activities and camping activities, and establishment costs, including allowance to programme coordinators and programme officers.
Under the mechanism for self financing units, the institutions could charge a nominal fee, if necessary, for NSS programme activities. Funds could also be mobilised through Corporate Social Responsibility activities of corporate sector or any other legitimate source.
Such institutions must follow the financial norms and accounting procedures of NSS, as applicable to other NSS units, according to the guidelines.
SFUs of NSS will be eligible, at par with other NSS units, for participation in all the programmes including Republic Day Parade Camps, adventure programmes, national integration camps, youth festival and youth exchange programmes.