NSS stands for National Service Scheme. It is one of the different choices that students have from among various sports activities like Badminton, Table Tennis, Basketball, National Cadet Corp(NCC) etc. for their Compulsory Physical Activities (CPA) for the first 2 semesters.
NSS basically involves some form of provision of aid to rural students in and around Kanpur in their academics.In particular NSS students coordinate with Shiksha Sopan, an initiative to improve rural education.
Around 40-50 first year students undertake NSS, and perform a multitude of tasks related to everyday school work. Many students teach elementary school students subjects ranging from English, Hindi and Social Sciences, to Geography, Mathematics and Science. This serves as an additional class, for the school-going students, apart from their normal classes.
Other groups of students perform other tasks like checking and setting test papers for exams conducted in Shiksha Sopan, take arts and crafts workshops, etc. Some students also help in translating popular English high school texts to Hindi, which are more easily understood by students in rural UP. Students also help in conducting inter-school competitions, and making video tutorials.
NSS mainly sends first year students to Shiksha Sopan schools, which are in an around Barasirohi and Nankari, which are relatively close to the campus of IIT Kanpur.
NSS is an initiative spearheaded by Prof. H.C. Verma, from the Physics department, up until recently. NSS, along with Prayas, has been a boon for the elementary school students, with students often showing an improvement in grades, and learning.
IITK students who participate in NSS, are often quoted saying that it is a humbling and enriching experience.