Index try to quantify the freedom of university scholars to debate politically and culturally controversial topics without fearing for their safety or studies, and without any external influence on the institutions’ affairs, based on a combination of factual data and the assessments of 1,800 academicians worldwide.
It is the result of a collaborative effort between researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the V-Dem Institute, the Scholars at Risk Network, and the Global Public Policy Institute.
- The index scores countries between 0 (worst) and 1 (best).
- India has scored considerably low in the international Academic Freedom Index (AFI) with a score of 0.352 which is closely followed by Saudi Arabia (0.278) and Libya (0.238).
o India has not fared well in components like institutional autonomy, campus integrity, freedom of academic and cultural expression and constitutional protection of academic freedom.
o Most universities in the country are subjected to unsolicited interference from governments in both academic and non-academic issues.
✓ However, National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims to de-bureaucratise the education system by giving governance powers to academicians. This may help to reduce political interference to an extent.