All India Peoples Science Network welcomes the first interim efficacy data from Phase-3 clinical trials as released by M/S Bharat Biotech for the indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine “Covaxin”....click link to read more... AIPSN hopes that the nearly 81% efficacy shown by the first interim analysis of Covaxin phase 3 trials will now help dispel the earlier vaccine hesitancy due to hasty approval without data. AIPSN appeals to all eligible people to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves and prevent others who cannot be vaccinated from getting Covid-19. It is hoped that Bharat Biotech will now ramp up production to required levels and join the international battle against Covid-19 with full confidence. It is time the Government realizes that promotion of true self-reliance is not well-served by artificial support or false claims, but by promotion of quality R&D and products that can match the best in the world and compete globally on its own merits.
..click link to read more....AIPSN is deeply disturbed by these ED raids on Newsclick. Newsclick has stated that it is confident of proving its innocence on all charges alleged by ED. These raids, in timing and circumstance, can only be viewed as part of a pattern of governmental suppression of critical voices in civil society and the media in general through a variety of coercive means. ED and similar agencies are now seen to be regularly used as partisan tools of intimidation and vindictiveness. Strangely, such actions always are targeted only against voices critical of government policies..... At this crucial crossroads of our nation’s history as a vibrant, diverse, secular and democratic society, AIPSN expresses its solidarity with Newsclick and other independent media outlets and journalists and urges the Government to not strangle voices of democracy so essential for Science...click link to Read More..
Click the link to read the details... AIPSN urges: The Union Government issue special protocols for Covaxin administration in “clinical trial mode,” including obtaining informed consent or refusal of recipients and ensuring compliance with all CDSCO/SEC approval conditions; CDSCO and ICMR to ensure that all clinical trials conform to necessary ethical, scientific and technical standards; All State Governments take a hard decision on whether to deploy Covaxin widely, or whether to strictly conform to CDSCO/SEC conditions of limited “trial mode” deployment; All doses of Covaxin distributed to States so far be held in stock by them and not administered till greater clarity is given by the Government or till CDSCO/SEC approval conditions are amended based on efficacy data from Bharat Biotech-ICMR as promised.
India’s regulatory authority for medical products, the Central Drug Standards Control Organization (CDSCO), gave “restricted emergency approval” on 2nd January 2020 for two Covid-19 Vaccines, namely Serum Institute of India (SII)’s “Covishield” being manufactured in India under technology transfer from Oxford University-Astra Zeneca, and the indigenous “Covaxin” developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR/National Institute of Virology...click link to read more.... AIPSN calls for: a)Re-consideration of approval for Covaxin till efficacy data is available or, at least, strict adherence to conditions specified in the CDSCO order implying no roll-out of Covaxin for mass vaccination. b) Phase-III efficacy trials for both vaccines continue without extraneous pressure and the data published at the earliest. c) No vaccine or Covid-19 related drug be released for commercial use in the private sector until regular approval as per protocols (as distinct from emergency use authorization) are obtained.
The disaster in Chamoli District, Uttarakhand on 7 February 2021 morning, in the region around the Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve, saw a large volume of fast moving flood waters carrying ice and snow, rocks, debris and mud come rushing down from high-altitude mountains...click the link to Read More... In light of the tragedies of the 2013 and 2021 disasters in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, a safety and environmental review should be urgently conducted of all hydro-electric, road building and infrastructure currently underway and planned, based on which these should be suitably modified or cancelled.
Click link to read full details... 13.The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) which are part of the ABC system are those which have the NAAC grade of ‘A’. Only 205 out of a total of 875 Universities are eligible which is just 23% of the Universities. In the case of colleges 1844 have greater than A grade out of total 38498 colleges, that is just 5% are eligible. This scheme is elitist in concept and implementation. 14. In theory, this UGC ABC sounds as if it is very useful and revolutionary. In reality it will not help first generation students. It will benefit 3rd or nth generation learners as they will be able to navigate the system better both conceptually and financially. City based students would fare better in using this ABC than rural students. In general, this UGC ABC will increase the educational divide in society along caste, minorities, and rural fault lines. 15. AIPSN calls upon UGC to abandon this flawed Centralised Academic Bank Credit and instead initiate a discussion on the enabling the credit system to first function properly for even in the words of Abbott Lowell who was President of Harvard University in USA: “The real unit is the student. He is the only thing in education that is an end in itself”. Click link to read full details...
AIPSN demands for transforming the draft STIP2020 into a people-centered and future-oriented STIP based on reality: a) The draft STIP2020 be made available officially on the website in all the Scheduled languages and propagated through social media and TV. After that is made available at least two months period should be given for wide dissemination and involvement in discussions. b) There should be a provision for giving feedback through hard copies also apart from only online as online access is still limited in the country. One contact person should be mentioned to ensure that the hard copies will be received correctly. c) All the suggestions received, as hard copies and online, must be put into an indexed publicly available online database so that there can be cross checking about incorporation in the STIP. d) The draft STIP2020 has to reduce the rhetoric and make it more realistic....... h) There were only limited online attempts to involve or seek the opinions of the wide thriving S&T community in the country. There needs to be more engaged consultations with such S&T communities distributed across the country to evolve this national policy...click link to read the full details
click link to see English and Kannada version pdf of statement... Three major academic publishers—Elsevier Ltd., Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., American Chemical Society— have filed a petition in Delhi High Court asking for dynamic blocking of Sci-Hub and Libgen in India. SciHub is the first site to allow mass and public access to research publications while LibGen allows access to books. These websites help Indian scientists, teachers and students to freely access and download research publications and books even if they are behind paywalls.....For details click the link above.. AIPSN demands that the monopolistic model of access to knowledge be given up and the process of free access to knowledge by the public accepted. AIPSN joins hands in support of those legally fighting these monopoly publishing industries against SciHub and Libgen which are working like the story figure of Robin Hood in making the knowledge commons work by providing the public a way to have their right to accessing knowledge.
The All India People’s Science Network (AIPSN) at its All India People’s Science Congress in Bangalore in May 2015 had decided to launch an All India campaign that addresses the twin threats posed by the neoliberal and religious sectarian assault on people’s lives in India.
The Peoples Science Movements and the Peoples Health Movement present the charter of demands that articulates its understanding and its demands. There are 13 points that cover Health Care Related, Social Distancing and Human Rights, and Redressing Economic Inequity- as cause and consequence. While immediate executive action in the form of isolation of patients and quarantines, and a high pressure campaign for social distance is most welcome, this would not be sufficient if community transmission is established and the pandemic peaks. The country is particularly vulnerable because of a high degree of past neglect of public health services, and the privatization of healthcare. The country is also vulnerable because a large section of population is struggling to meet their minimum basic necessities and the last decade of economic and social policies have pushed them to the brink. In such a social and economic context, this epidemic may prove the last straw and lead to an unprecedented catastrophe unless the government pays heed to the entire charter of demands we present here.