‘Academic Freedom’ in Indian Higher Education Settings

  • Satya Sundar Sethy Indian Institute of Technology Madras


The expression ‘autonomy’ means freedom from external control and influence. But what students’ autonomy and teachers’ autonomy constitute of has not been examined in detail in the Indian higher education (HE) settings. It is observed that students and teachers are often misleading and misinterpreting the concept of ‘autonomy’ as ‘legal freedom’ and confused autonomy with ‘civil and political rights’. This creates hurdle to achieve aims and objectives of Indian HE institutions. Against this background, the paper discusses the relation between students’ and teachers’ autonomy and their academic freedom in Indian higher education set up. It examines the relationship between ‘academic freedom’ and ‘university autonomy’. The paper submits that ‘academic freedom’ in Indian higher education institutions is not to be viewed as ‘legal freedom’. The paper adopts qualitative methodology that subsumes descriptive, evaluative and interpretative approaches to derive its conclusion for academics consideration and further critical examination.

How to Cite
SETHY, Satya Sundar. ‘Academic Freedom’ in Indian Higher Education Settings. Asian Journal of University Education, [S.l.], v. 17, n. 2, p. 39-49, june 2021. ISSN 2600-9749. Available at: <https://myjms.mohe.gov.my/index.php/AJUE/article/view/9022>. Date accessed: 08 dec. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.24191/ajue.v17i2.9022.