State bifurcation seems to have fuelled a race among Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU), Guntur, Andhra University (AU), Visakhapatnam, and Sri Venkateswara University (SVU), Tirupati, for Central university status.

In anticipation that a new Central university will be sanctioned to the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh, the authorities at the three universities have made an appeal to the Ministry of Human Resource Development to award the status.

Starting with allocation of funds for better pay scales, there are many advantages when a State university is upgraded to a Central university. Unlike State governments, which allocate meagre funds, Central universities get adequate funding from the Central government annually, say university authorities.

From the perspective of the teaching staff, the retirement age can be enhanced, in addition to pay scales. It is wise to upgrade an existing university into a Central university than establishing a new one, they say. Considering all these factors, the authorities from the three universities are leaving no stone unturned in obtaining Central university status.

A Central university is established with emphasis on rural sector students. ANU is geographically well located and caters for rural and urban students. Nearly 175 foreign students are pursuing various courses in the university. ANU has an edge over AU and SVU in this regard, says ANU Registrar Raja Sekhar Patteti.

Spread over 500 acres, AU, established in 1926, has better infrastructure. Various courses are offered, and it has good road, rail and air connectivity. It is the oldest university in this part of the State, says AU Registrar K. Rama Mohana Rao. Rayalaseema is a backward region, and SVU has played a key role in terms of students’ education since 1954. Institutions like the Vedic Institute have come up on SVU campus, and it is ideal to be upgraded into a Central university, says SVU Registrar K. Sathyavelu Reddy.