Debating Academic Freedom in India

By William Tierney and Nidhi S. Sabharwal


The authors of this article put forward what academic freedom is not and then argue how academic freedom gets defined in the context of twenty-first-century India. The role of universities in Indian society, in general, and the ability of academic staff (faculty) to speak out on an array of issues, in particular, has become a central concern in India. The authors’ purpose is not to side with one or another interpretation of academic freedom but instead to delineate a way to think about academic freedom that enables individuals to engage in scholarly debate without either threatening their physical safety or shutting down conversation.

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