P.S. Vijayshankar is a founder member of Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS), an NGO based in Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh. He received his M. Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. As part of SPS, he has lived and worked among the tribal communities of the Narmada valley for the last 28 years. His areas of interest are water resource management, sustainable agriculture and strengthening of community-based and self-reliant people's institutions. He has been engaged in training and capacity building of a wide range of organizations and is a member of the Faculty of the Baba Amte Centre for People's Empowerment (BACPE), one of only 7 national centres set up by Government of India for extending training and field support to grass-roots agencies implementing watershed projects in different parts of India. As a faculty member, he has assisted in the development of curricula and teaching material for training programmes of the BACPE. At SPS he is currently the Direct of Research. He is also a member of the Core Group of the Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture Network (RRAN), a civil society initiative for mainstreaming issues of rainfed drylands. He was a member of the 12th Plan Working Group on Natural Resource Management and Rainfed Farming and Working Group on Sustainable Groundwater Management set up by the Planning Commission. He was also a member of the Steering Committee of the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, from 2009 to 2014.
Vijayshankar has co-authored the book, India's Drylands: Tribal Societies and Development through Environmental Regeneration (OUP, 1998) and co-edited, along with Mihir Shah) the book, Water: Growing Understanding, Emerging Perspectives (Orient Blackswan, 2016). He has published many papers including “Groundwater Demand Management at Local Scale in Rural Areas of India: A Strategy to Ensure Water Well Sustainability based on Aquifer Diffusivity and Community Participation”, (with H. Kulkarni, S. B. Deolankar and Mihir Shah, published in the Hydrogeology Journal, 2004), “Rural Credit in 20th Century India: Overview of History and Perspectives” (with Mihir Shah and Rangu Rao, Economic and Political Weekly, 2007) and “India‟s Groundwater Challenge and the Way Forward” (with Himanshu Kulkarni and Sunderrajan Krishnan, Economic and Political Weekly, January, 2011). He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Advanced Study of India (CASI), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, in February-March 2011.