Thanks to its state-of-the-art facilities, Naira Agriculture College has the potential to be upgraded to university.

Naira Agriculture College, located on the outskirts of Srikakulam, has the potential to become an agriculture university, according to experts and public representatives. The college, which was established in 1989, is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and amenities. The institution spreads across 255 acres where several crops are grown as part of studies taken up by students. As many as 500 students attend undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the college.

Acharya NG Ranga University, located in Rajendranagar, has become part and parcel of Telangana. In this backdrop, the residual Andhra Pradesh needs an agricultural university. The idea of upgrading the college to a university was mooted by former Union Minister Killi Kruparani. Incidentally, the Union government is likely to accept the proposal as part of the North Andhra package, which was announced at the time of bifurcation. However, officials feel it might not be feasible considering the huge infrastructure required.

The Union government is likely to upgrade either Bapatla or Tirupati college to university, as they have better facilities and infrastructure, according to officials. Uttarandhra Journalist Forum (UJF), which submitted a memorandum on north Andhra issues to the Union government, feels that the establishment of an Agricultural University in Srikakulam will boost research activity in backward areas. UJF president M.R.N. Varma has asked the government to sanction a veterinary university for Visakhapatnam and a horticulture university for Vizianagaram, apart from an agricultural university for Srikakulam district.

“Farmers from backward classes can learn new techniques easily with the support of professors and students if an agricultural university is set up in Srikakulam. More land can be acquired at Naira village for expansion of activities. We explained its importance to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and submitted a memorandum to him,” Mr. Varma says.