From vision to transformation: integrating human rights courses in higher education in India




Human Rights Education (HRE) is critical to human development and societal transformation. In India, although HRE emerged in the 1980s, its incorporation in higher education has not yet reached its full potential. Using the state of Tamil Nadu as our case study, this paper evaluates the integration of courses on human rights in universities and colleges, using a descriptive qualitative approach to analyse the nature and content of such courses, their compliance with India’s apex institutional directives, and the challenges faced. The researchers conclude that there is a disconnect between the vision of policy makers and actual implementation of HRE in practice. It is suggested that wider holistic application of HRE in higher education is needed, so that learning becomes a transformative force, empowering the young to develop attitudes of solidarity, tolerance, and respect for social justice.


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Author Biographies

Radhika Lakshminarayanan, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait

Radhika Lakshminarayanan is employed as Associate Professor of History and currently based in Kuwait. She has worked as Educator and Academic Consultant for leading educational institutions in Kuwait and India for the last 30 years. Her research interests include Middle East Studies, Human rights education and gender studies.

Dolly Thomas, Stella Maris College, Chennai, India

Dolly Thomas is Associate Professor & Head of the department of History, Stella Maris College (Autonomous) Chennai. She has been in the field of academics since 1996 and has headed several research projects at the institutional level. Her research interests include economic history, human rights and studies on contemporary India.


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How to Cite

Lakshminarayanan, R., & Thomas, D. (2022). From vision to transformation: integrating human rights courses in higher education in India. Human Rights Education Review, 5(3), 21–47.



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