Proposals sought to meet needs of two states

With bifurcation of the State looming large, the A.P. State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) is seriously considering going in for a redesign of its policy, so that both regions benefit equally.

Unlike its earlier practice of devising academic policies to meet the requirements of the three regions of Telangana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra, officials have now been instructed to take decisions in terms of Telangana and the residual Andhra Pradesh.

The trend was evident in the Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme, in which the government is actively involved. Earlier, proposals under the scheme were made to ensure that all the three regions got equal justice.

Interestingly, officials have now been told to submit fresh proposals in terms of the requirements of the two states. “There are instructions from the Education Department in this regard,” an official said.

The proposals to set up tribal universities in Utnoor in Adilabad district and Paderu in Visakapatnam district and mining universities at Kothagudem in Khammam and Ongole are an indication.

Higher education in the State may not face hurdles in the division of work or jurisdiction of assets, as academic work is decentralised except for the Common Entrance Test (CET).

Since the Group of Ministers (GoM) has maintained that administrative and academic policies will not change for at least five years, officials feel there is not much to worry.

Admissions to sought-after institutions like IIT, IIIT, NIT and the University of Hyderabad are made on the basis of national merit. Post-bifurcation, the 50 per cent state quota in NITs will be equally divided between the two States.

The jurisdiction of all State universities has been clearly demarcated, and ‘good’ universities exist in both the regions. The 15 per cent un-reserved quota (non-local) will continue for both the regions for the time being.

“So, there is not much loss to students, as division in the Education Department will not be as acrimonious as in the other sectors,” observed a senior official.