6 The Tale of Science, Technology and Innovation for Social Revolution

The decades before and after independence in India were a time of vibrant debate concerning science, technology and development. The institutions of a free India were being shaped and there was experimentation concerning different models of development based on a diverse range of ideological perspectives. During the period between the 1930s and the 1950s, there were discussions concerning the need for institutions for learning and competence building, designed to address the legacy of poverty left by colonial rule. It was from this period that the concept of “pro-poor innovation” would emerge in India (Ramani 2014). The development of new institutions for knowledge production and mobilization, however, attracted different positions. This chapter describes the position taken by one group emerging from this period as an illustrative example of a counter narrative to the three market-based ones described in the previous three cases.

The People’s Science Movement (PSM) is a network that emerged in India in the early 1960s whose origins can be traced to the numerous educational groups working on the popularization of science in the local languages of India, some of which date back to the pre-independence period (Parameswaran 2013). The aim of its founders was to emancipate the rural poor through the popularization of scientific thinking to enhance local knowledge and the intrinsic rationality of rural Indian ...

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