Since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, India’s academic freedom is declining strongly, said a report by an international group of scholars on Thursday.

India’s academic freedom index is in the bottom 30 per cent among 179 countries.

The report, titled “Academic Freedom Index Update 2023” identified 22 countries – including India, China, the United States and Mexico – where it said universities and scholars experience significantly less academic freedom today than they did ten years ago.

“Whereas India’s decline in academic freedom started from a comparatively high level during India’s democratic period and is now associated with rapidly accelerating autocratization,” read the report.

“In India, academic freedom started to decline in 2009 with a drop in university autonomy followed by a sharp downturn in all indicators from 2013. Around 2013, all aspects of academic freedom began to decline strongly, reinforced with Narendra Modi’s election as prime minister in 2014,” it said.

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