They feel that they may not be able to get back the time lost and will fall behind schedule, writes SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE

For Srinivas, a final-year engineering student of Andhra University College of Engineering, the last couple of days were long, as he spent sleepless nights. Glued to the television set, he was monitoring every move of the Telangana issue, as soon as the centre committed on initiating the State bifurcation. His only worry is his academic pursuit.

Apprehensive that the fallout of the bifurcation could have a long term impact on his career, he says “Every single day lost in the campus at this stage is an opportunity lost. We cannot get back the time lost and we would fall behind schedule. We are in the fast track competitive world and thanks to globalisation, every single hour counts.”

Similar is the mood of serious students in JNTU Hyderabad that has been closed for 15 days. Going by the mood in few other campuses in the State, the student activists seem to be gearing up for a long drawn battle over the issue.

Their worry is not just the closure for these few days but the uncertainty over the entire episode. No one knows how long the agitation would continue. Time plays an important role in the semester system. The loss of valuable time will drastically reduce the period of quality study time.

Even a few senior professors feel so. “We have to cover the same topics within a much shorter time. It would be like a crash course rather, than a detailed study. In the end, the students will be the sufferers,” says the former Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Andhra University, D.V.R. Murthy.

Many upcoming engineers and technical graduates feel that the industries were just about looking up after a period of long recession and any unrest in the campuses would affect their campus interviews.

The Registrar of Andhra University P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy informs that Tata Consultancy Services who were supposed to conduct campus interviews in AUCE are rethinking, thanks to the bandh and the mood in the campus.

The Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU)- Kakinada, Allam Appa Rao adds that in the semester system the study is so tightly packed that none can afford to lose a single day. “Any sort of unrest in the campuses would have an impact on the recruiters. Normally, the recruiting firms come for a very brief stay on the campus and they are not immune to delays caused by such external factors. If the unrest continues or develops over a period of time, then they would opt for other destinations. It would be unfortunate if such a thing happens, as the IT sector was just picking up and 2010 is predicted to be a good year for software and IT professionals,” says the Vice-Chancellor.

Public universities would be hit

The AU Registrar opines that disturbances within the campus would hit the students badly. “A day lost is opportunity lost in higher studies in universities. Be it Osmania, JNTU or Andhra University, the student folks have been the backbone for all agitations and such disturbances would deter parents from admitting their children in public universities. In such an instance, the deemed universities and private colleges would stand to gain,” he says.

Osmania University Vice Chancellor, T. Tirupati Rao echoes similar feelings. “Agitations apart students should realise that academic year is very important for their future and that should not be neglected since recruiters prefer no gaps in education.” Those planning higher education abroad or take up research in top class institutions will immensely suffer.

A few other senior professors who prefer to remain anonymous say, “Universities are sacred places. Tranquillity and peace are two essential ingredients for higher studies. Universities are not profit centres and their main aim is to develop manpower resource for the country and evolve good citizens. Agitations and disturbances would hit the student community and take the state and its young minds backward by a few years at least, if not a few decades.”

Voicing concern for the students, Dr. Allam Appa Rao, says, “In this competitive world, the young students are the main stay for the country. They cannot be meek spectators to an issue nor can they afford to take a violent stand, which would hamper their prospects.

Being the intellectual asset of the country and the state, they should resort to smart and peaceful campaigns like signature campaigns or champion the cause with the media to make their voice heard. Any unrest within the campuses would worsen things.”

Dr. Prasad Reddy also points out, disturbances within the campuses would not only affect the education of the students but the global image of the State ‘as a peaceful and congenial education hub would take a beating'.

(With inputs from

R. Ravikanth Reddy)