No to Oil Palm plantations in India’s Bio-diversity hotspots

Click link to READ more... The Union Government recently approved a new and poorly conceived National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) with an ecologically damaging focus on large-scale cultivation of Oil Palm in the North-East and the Andaman Islands...Click link to READ more...In sum, programmes for expansion of Oil Palm plantation in India require a research- and evidence-based, locale-specific and multi-dimensional plan to expand Oil Palm acreage wherever economically feasible and ecologically suitable. Oil Palm cultivation in the most ecologically vulnerable A&N Islands, in violation of earlier Supreme Court directions and without rigorous studies, should be ruled out. Mission activities in the biodiversity rich and ecologically sensitive NE should proceed only in limited areas with great caution and based on prior studies. NMEO-OP needs to be thoroughly re-cast in conjunction with efforts to boost productivity of other oilseeds in different parts of India.

Need to uphold Constitution, Scientific Temper and Humanity in judicial interventions

All India People’s Science Network (AIPSN) expresses its unhappiness with the judgement of the Allahabad High Court in Javed vs UP state, issued on 1 Sept 2021, for citing several religion mythical scriptures as the culture of our nation and making observations that have no scientific basis (quote from judgment “Scientists believe that cow is the only animal that inhales oxygen and also exhales oxygen. Panchagavya is made out of cow's milk, curds, ghee, urine and dung and is known to help in several incurable diseases. According to Hindu religion, 33 crore gods and goddesses reside in the cow” ) . In this case, Javed, who is on trial for killing a cow was denied bail. ...AIPSN notes with concern these observations reflected in this judgment as they are without scientific evidence going against the scientific temper while  foisting one community’s supposed beliefs upon the entire country and all its diverse cultures. AIPSN looks forward to appropriate corrective action...click link to READ more..

All India Save Education Day on 05th September Teachers Day

All India Peoples Science Network (AIPSN) has been actively engaged with a critical appraisal of the Union Government’s proposals for a new education policy since its release as a draft DNEP 2020 calling for comments from the public, then as a finalized National Education Policy (NEP) document with many changes to the earlier draft but without rationale or explanation of responses to suggestions received, and finally to the aggressive roll-out of the NEP without discussion in Parliament or the States despite Education being a Concurrent subject. AIPSN’s detailed critique of NEP, highlighting the many objectionable and undesirable aspects of NEP, have been widely discussed and disseminated. ... AIPSN pledges on this Save Education Day, to work with JFME and other stakeholders, teachers, students and parents to oppose and reverse the NEP, to defend and expand public education, and work to improve the education system so as to answer to the needs of all sections of India’s diverse society and to meet the aspirations of India’s youth for a bright future...click the LINK to read more...

National Scientific Temper Day NSTD 2021

The NSTD 2021 campaign by AIPSN and fraternal organisations have demanded: 1.Astrology (i.e. predictive part of Jyotishastra) related courses should be discontinued from every public funded university. Instead of that we demand the introduction of Astronomy in Indian universities. 2.Reversal of privatization policies and restoration of scientific policy for ensuring good quality public health care as a universal right. 3.The government stops its attacks on media reporting honestly on the Covid situation. 4.Respect be shown to our constitutional article 51a(h) for actively promoting scientific temper at a mass level in order to effectively combat and defeat the Covid pandemic. 5.An atmosphere of tolerance, debate and dissent which helps science and scientific temper to flourish. 6.Culprits involved in the assassination of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh are punished.

Government unmasked: Abdicates vaccination responsibility

No other major country, including the most market friendly nations, has adopted a vaccination strategy of this kind, precisely for the reasons enumerated here...... The new strategy is not a win-win solution as propagated. Corporates, private health care institutions and the well-off will win, while the poor and the middle class will lose big time.  AIPSN calls for rolling back of this new strategy and for a recalibrated fully public funded and universal vaccination programme, backed by adequate government support for vaccine manufacturers including PSUs. click the link to read more....

Statement On Second Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic in India

This AIPSN Statement is based on the position paper on the Second Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic in India. India is well and truly into a brutal second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The points made are: Accept responsibility; don’t blame the people and States; Understand role of variants, expand gene sequencing; Increase testing, tracing and surveillance; Address Vaccine shortage & Equity; Scale-up Vaccine production and availability; Address Licensing/ IP issues; Oppose misguided vaccine nationalism. Click the link to read more...

Position Paper On Second Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic in India

The position paper makes the following points regarding the Second Wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India: Accept responsibility; don’t blame the people and States; Understand role of variants, expand gene sequencing; Increase testing, tracing and surveillance; Address Vaccine shortage & Equity; Scale-up Vaccine production and availability; Address Licensing/ IP issues; Oppose misguided vaccine nationalism Click the link to read more..

On Covaxin Interim Results from Phase 3 trials  

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.

Statement on Vaccines Roll-out

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.

On Hasty Regulatory Approvals in India for Covid-19 Vaccines

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.