‘Converting it into a Central varsity only solution’
Post bifurcation of the State, the oldest university in the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, Andhra University will not only face severe fund crunch, but many senior professors feel that its very existence may be threatened, unless it is upgraded into a Central university. As of now the university has been running on a deficit of about Rs. 200 crore-Rs 220 crore per year, for the last couple of years. The annual budget of AU is about Rs. 450 crore and it gets an assistance of about Rs. 130 crore to Rs. 150 crore from the State government and another Rs. 100 crore is pooled up from its resources. “We have been running on a deficit budget of about Rs. 200 crore- Rs.220 crore for last couple of years,” said Registrar K. Rama Mohana Rao. Of the Rs. 230 crore to Rs. 250 crore revenue that it generates annually — from State aid and own resources — about Rs. 90 crore is spent on pension and Rs. 100 crore on salaries. There is hardly any fund left for development or upkeep of the university.
Moreover, due to the fund crunch the university has not been able to recruit the 508 teaching staff for which the sanction has been made. Every department is facing shortage of teaching staff. “The recruitment is pending due to financial approval,” said the Registrar. In such a scenario, post bifurcation the hardship is likely to aggravate and the solution lies in converting it into a Central university, said a professor from the College of Arts. Acquiescing with the popular sentiments, Prof. Mohana Rao said, “In the first year after bifurcation we may not face any problem, as the Central government has agreed to meet the State’s deficit budget. But subsequently it may be a problem. But it all depends on the priorities and the political will of the ministers concerned.” The Registrar said there was proposal to start a Central university, an IIM and an IIT in the residuary part of the state. But where will they come is yet not decided. “We have already pitched in for converting the university into a Central University and the engineering college into an IIT. But again it depends on the political will and the clout of the local political leaders, as both the proposals have to be approved by an act of Parliament,” said Prof. Mohana Rao.