Author of ‘Democratic backsliding’ paper quits Ashoka University

‘Democratic Backsliding in the World’s Largest Democracy’ was authored by Sabyasachi Das

August 15, 2023 12:40 am | Updated 12:41 am IST - New Delhi

The university had on August 1 distanced itself from Sabyasachi Das’s research paper.

The university had on August 1 distanced itself from Sabyasachi Das’s research paper. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Vice-Chancellor Somak Raychaudhury on Monday said Ashoka University has accepted the resignation of assistant professor Sabyasachi Das, who published a research paper claiming that the BJP won a disproportionate share of seats in closely contested constituencies in the 2019 general election.

The university had, in a statement on August 1, distanced itself from the paper, ‘Democratic Backsliding in the World’s Largest Democracy’, which was shared widely on social media.

The V-C said the paper authored by Mr. Das, who was with the Department of Economics, was perceived by many to reflect the views of the university.

“At Ashoka University, members of the faculty have the freedom to teach and carry out research in the areas they choose. The university affords its faculty and students the most enabling environment for academic freedom at an institution of higher education,” the V-C said.

He said the university does not direct or moderate the research conducted by its faculty and students, adding, “This academic freedom also applied to Mr. Das.”

The author of the paper on the 2019 general election currently serves as a visiting faculty at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune.

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