As a place of research, learning and critical inquiry related to Adivasi communities, their history, culture, world-views, arts, languages, medicine, economy, development and traditions, the Adivasi Academy tries to combine the essentials of the views on education of Rabindranath Tagore, Shri Aurobindo, J. Krishnamurthy, Mahatma Gandhi, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Ivan Ilich and Paulo Friere, all of whom challenged the established pedagogic regimen. The views of these thinkers-practitioners on the confluence of social good and university education form the bedrock of the educational philosophy of the Adivasi Academy. The Adivasi Academy does make use of modern technologies, however, without unduly privileging the lexical traditions of knowledge. Oral traditions, performing arts, handicrafts and visual arts form the core portion of the studies at the Adivasi Academy. Any training imparted at the Adivasi Academy is designed to help trainees to enhance their awareness and sensitivity, improve their skills and level of knowledge in their respective area of management, planning, production, social work, etc. in relation to Adivasi communities.
The Adivasi Academy allows experiments in designing programmes relevant to ‘down-to-earth’ realities of tribals. The Adivasi Academy does not follow a single track academic agenda. Therefore, it is not a specialized place of research, study and reflection in any one single discipline or subject. Research and Training Programs are created from batch to batch or project to project depending on the needs perceived for conserving tribal identity or promoting development in Adivasi areas. Hence, nothing that is not of use to adivasi communities is pursued at the Academy. However, the Academy keeps away from bigotry, ideological indoctrination and narrow views on life.
The research and educational programmes generally follow a larger liberal view of society. At the same time, they do not shy away from discussing political and cultural issues in an open manner. As a policy, the Academy does not take any ‘Institutional’ stand on issues and controversies. At the same time, individuals taking such a stand are not prevented from expressing themselves with utmost freedom.
The scope of the Adivasi Academy's educational and research programmes and its cultural and social interventions extends to all ethnic and linguistic communities in India.