That Andhra Pradesh needs to start all over again as far as higher education is concerned is an open secret. Though there is a long list of higher / professional education institutes that are likely to come up in Andhra, the present state of higher education is in a dismal state. See HERE the list of higher education institutes that are likely to come up in Seemandhra. No surprise that none of the 20 state universities in Andhra Pradesh figure in the list of ‘Universities with Potential for Excellence’ of the University Grants Commission.
While AP has no representation in the coveted list of 15 universities, two from Telangana find their place among them. This reflects the poor situation of the state universities in AP, as the much talked about Andhra University also failed to find its name in the list. For the UPE tag, universities are judged by various parameters which include, high level research activities, quest for excellence, infrastructure, faculty-student ratio, university-industry collaboration and community outreach.
One of the main benefits of getting the UPE tag is the grant of Rs 100 crore from UGC for strengthening a university’s focus areas, collaborating research projects cutting across various disciplines, encouraging other departments for research and for also improving infrastructure. The UGC is also planning to select Univ-ersities of Excellence for which a grant up to Rs 150 crore will be provided by the UGC. Other main benefits include the brand image improvement of a university if it is recognised as a UPE.
Former vice-chancellor of Acharya Nagarjuna University, Prof V. Balamohan Das, says, “Lack of required number of faculty in state universities is a major reason why the varsities from the state could not make it to the list, especially Andhra University. While the number of teaching me-mbers has gone down, the number of departments, courses and students has increased. AU once used to be brimming with more than 1,000 professors which have now dwindled to a few hundred.”
Another major issue is lack of funds. A senior professor from Andhra University says, “Most of the funds received go towards payment of salaries and basic expenditure. There are not enough funds to develop a world class infrastructure or conduct many workshops. If AU gets enough funds, we will outshine many premier institutes.”
Source : Deccan Chronicle