THE ALL-INDIA People’s Science Network (AIPSN) is a network of various organisations with people’s science movement (PSM) throughout the country. It was formed in 1988, just after the successful completion of Jan Vigyan Jatha in the year 1987. Jan Vigyan Jatha was an event in which for the first time since independence, a good number of organisations which were involved in People’s Science movement joined together to work for “Science to the People” ,” Science for Nation” and “Science for Peace”.
Jan Vigyan Jatha comprised of five regional jathas, viz Northern Jatha, Western Jatha, Eastern Jatha and North Eastern Jatha. All these regional Jathas converged in Bhopal for an assembly of science activists, professionals, teachers, scientists, technologists etc. All the five jathas covered thousands of kilometres before reaching Bhopal. In the course of their journey all the five jathas stopped and performed in more than five hundred places. Thousands of people participated in these programmes in connection with the Jatha. Tremendous enthusiasm were witnessed especially among the young generation.
Having seen the success of this Jan Vigyan Jatha along with the hunger for science and knowledge especially among the young generation of the country, all major PSM organisations who came forward to make successful the Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha decided to form one All India Network in order to sustain the coordinated activities of all PSM organisations.
POPULARISATION IS THE AIM
Since its inception, the AIPSN is working with the aim of popularising science in our society, developing scientific temper, fighting against obscurantism with the help of science for policy implementations in science and technology for self-reliant development with more and more Science and Technology intervention etc.
“Science for Society”, and “Science for Self-reliance are the slogans based on which AIPSN is working. It is a matter of fact that all member organisations who have constituted the AIPSN are not having same priorities. Some are working mainly on popularisation of Science literature in vernacular. Some are involved mainly in the area of science popularisation.
There are some organisations who are concentrating on policy issues related with S&T. Few PSM organisations are also there, who are working for alternative models of development. Nowadays 2/3 member organisations are very much involved in decentralised planning and development with people’s participation. Environment Health are the areas which have been identified by a lot of member organisations. Another area in which member organisations of AIPSN have already contributed a lot is literacy. To make the literacy campaign throughout the country possible, AIPSN took purposeful decision to carry on this campaign exclusively.
THRUST AREAS AT PRESENT
All the time AIPSN in trying its best to make organise relation with more and more organisations who are working in the field of science and technology. It is undeniable fact that AIPSN is having its member organisations in most of the major states of our country. Member organisations from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura & Pondicherry are the members of AIPSN.
National level bodies like FMRAI, are also members of AIPSN. There is scope to widen the AIPSN and efforts have taken in that direction. AIPSN utilising the occasion of 50th anniversary of Indian republic has decided to focus the issue of science and self-reliance through the year 2000. It was decided to hold five regional seminars on the issue of “Science and Self-reliance” in southern, Eastern, North Eastern, Northern and Western regions. Already four regional conventions were held in Chennai (Southern) Calcutta (Eastern) Hisar (Northern) and Agartala (North Eastern) respectively. All the regional seminars highlighted the issue of self-reliance and science in the context of present day India.
A lot of working scientists, technologists, professionalists, PSM activists in this seminar. Various institutes of National repute where also associated with these seminars.
Special mention should be made of North Eastern regional seminar, which took up question of development of the region in its agenda. Keeping in mind the urge of the people of North Eastern region, AIPSN decided to add this issue with its general theme. The process unleashed in Agartala has generated tremendous interest among the organisations who are working in the filed Science & Technology in this region. These organisations have decided to organise one Jatha highlighting the issue of self-reliance and peace in the near future.
PEOPLE’S SCIENCE MAGAZINE STARTED
AIPSN is regularly bringing out its organ People’s Science for last one year. It is a bimonthly magazine. All member organisations have decided to enroll a good number of subscribers for peoples science. People Science if properly taken care of by various member organisations, can make the networking possible. It is to act as the platform through which member organisations can get an idea about the areas and methods of functioning of other member organisations, as well as AIPSN’s understanding on the various related issues.
Many new areas are coming to the forum which are relevant for peoples science movement. AIPSN will have to take up these issues for developing coordinated activities throughout the country. Already literacy, Education, Science popularisation in mother tongue, policy issues related with S&T like self-reliance are being the areas taken up by AISPN.
All India coordinated actions are being planned and implemented on these areas. Pressing demands are there to take up issues like health, agriculture, technology up-gradation for the artisans etc and develop all India coordinated programmes on all these issues. Every opportunity is being utilised by AIPSN to broaden its scope and area.
Solar prominence which is a delightful natural phenomenon, which is visible light now, is being utilised by AIPSN to carry on science popularisation activities. To create momentum in the health related activities, AIPSN has played a very significant role in finalising national health assembly which is going to be held in Calcutta on November 30 and December 1, 2000. In connection with this assembly, workshops and various programmes are in the process of implementation.