The National Service Scheme (NSS) was initiated by the Government of India on 24 September 1969 with the intention of involving the youth in the nation-building process. The NSS is to provide an essential link between the institute campus and the surrounding community. Not only it is expected to arouse the social consciousness of the students and teachers alike but also to provide an avenue for personality development through community service.
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were created to engineer technological innovations that would improve the living standards of the society at large. At IIT Guwahati, in keeping with the NSS spirit, we are working to address the problems facing the community in and around our campus. We aim at evolution not revolution, for evolution implies a less capricious change. As Tarry says in Discworld, Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes.
The motto of NSS is "NOT ME BUT YOU". It underlines that the welfare of an individual is ultimately dependent on the welfare of the society as a whole. This expresses the essence of democratic living and upholds the need of selfless service, appreciation of the other person's point of view and also consideration for fellow human beings.
The watchword of students at IITG is "Swayamseveiba Swasevah", a sanskrit phrase meaning volunteering is basically serving one's own self!
The symbol of the National Service Scheme is based on the 'Rath' wheel of the Konark Sun Temple situated in Orissa. These giant wheels of the Sun Temple portray the cycle of creation, preservation and release, and signify the movement in life across time and space. The design of the symbol, a simplified form of the Sun-chariot wheel primarily depicts movement. The wheel signifies the progressive cycle of life. It stands for continuity as well as change and implies the continuous striving of NSS for social transformation and upliftment.