The All India Peoples Science Network is a network of over forty Peoples Science organisations spread all over the country. The AIPSN started its activities as a network of activist organisations involved in Science Popularisation and in examining related to the interface of science with society. Since the pioneering efforts of the Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, in 1987, supported by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC), the AIPSN has emerged as a pioneer in activities related to science communication and popularisation.
The AIPSN, which had its initial thrust in the area of Science Communication, pioneered the efforts of adult literacy in the country in 1990. It nucleated the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, which went on to spearhead the Total Literacy Campaigns in Districts across the country in partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The success of the literacy movements and the subsequent integration of several state level BGVS organisations in the AIPSN significantly increased the reach of the AIPSN to over half the Districts in the country. The literacy movements in the AIPSN have now built on the massive mobilisation achieved through the total literacy programmes, and include activities related to continuing education, school education, women’s empowerment, credit co-operative movements, rural micro-enterprises, etc,
The third major area of intervention by the AIPSN has been in the area of economic scientific, and technological self-reliance. The AIPSN was engaged in two major communication and mobilisation exercises called Hamara Desh (Our Country) and Desh Ko Jano Desh Ko Badlo (Know your country, Save your Country) in the nineties. The programmes focused on encouraging local area planning and resource mapping and carried the message of local capability building for self-reliance. In addition to such co-ordinated programmes, member organisations within the AIPSN have done studies, conducted campaigns and created awareness on sectors such as health, pharmaceuticals, power, telecommunications, peace and disarmament, broader issues of globalisation, intellectual property rights, issues related to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), etc. Several studies and publications on these issues have been brought out by AIPSN member organisations.
In the conduct of such campaigns the AIPSN uses diverse communication strategies using slide shows, video films, public meetings, street theatre, etc. The AIPSN has used the mobile street theatre form (Kala Jatha) very effectively in the course of its campaigns. Thirty years after its formation, the AIPSN has a significant presence in over half the districts in the country, spread across all major states.
Such experiences and principal area of work involving network partners will also be presented and critically analyzed in the Congress.