AU should be given Central varsity status, says Vice-Chancellor

Several academicians on Monday expressed concern over backwardness of north coastal Andhra and sought a special package to develop it in irrigation, education and other fields.

Taking part in the roundtable on future of north coastal Andhra, conducted by the Uttarandhra Journalists’ Front (UJF) here, Andhra University Vice-Chancellor G.S.N. Raju said Andhra University should be given Central University status and more initiatives were needed to encourage centres of excellence in higher education.

The speakers opposed the proposed move on bifurcation of the State and said Uttarandhra was more backward than Telangana and by seeing the industries in Visakhapatnam one should not form the impression that entire north coastal Andhra was developed.

National Human Rights Commission member K.S. Chalam said due to lack of opportunities many men from the region had migrated to Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district in search of opportunities. He said number of women in the region was more due to large-scale migration of men to other areas and opined that most of the hazardous and polluting industries from Patancheru and other areas had been relocated to Visakhapatnam and its neighbourhood.Strongly advocating proper utilisation of rivers in Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram to improve the agriculture economy and creating job opportunities, Prof. Chalam said as of now, irrigation needs of the region had been meted out a raw deal.

Former Principal of AU College of Arts and Commerce K. Sreerama Murthy said Uttarandhra was in need of premier educational institutes like IIM and IIT and a tribal university and cited how Koraput of Odisha could get a Central University. He wanted widening of National Highway-43 and formation of a development board exclusively for north coastal Andhra and regretted the delay in releasing funds to Visakhapatnam Institute of Medial Sciences.

Balanced development

Former professor of AU K. Ravi said bifurcation of the State would not ensure development of Telangana and suggested considering various alternatives to achieve balanced development in all the regions. Leadership must emerge from the locals since such leaders could only understand the local issues and needs of people. Some participants expressed their deep concern and anguish over the domination of outsiders in politics and their apathy towards welfare of the region. The “outsiders” find it easy to win elections here which was a sort of business and never take up the local issues, the speakers said. Director of GITAM Law School and former Vice-Chancellor of AP State Law University (at present DS National Law University) Y. Satyanarayana, professor of AU Environmental Sciences Department E. Uday Bhaskar Reddy, faculty member of AU College of Law S. Sumitra, UJF president M.V.N Varma and secretary N. Nageswara Rao, Uttarandhra Rakshana Vedika convener S.S. Sivasankar, senior professor of AU M. Prasada Rao, faculty member from MR College V. Venkata Rao and others spoke. AU Journalism professor P. Bobby Vardhan moderated the programme.