Alluri Padma Raju took charge as the Vice-Chancellor of Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) on Thursday.
A soil scientist, Prof. Padma Raju hails from East Godavari district and held several positions in the university, including the Director of Research. He was appointed as the V-C in October last, but it was challenged in the High Court on technical grounds by a retired professor, M. Devendar Reddy, who claimed that UGC guidelines were not followed for filling up the post.
But the government had argued that appointment was done as per the ANGRAU Act and Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) Act.
However, the High Court cleared his appointment a few days ago. The appointment initially was also opposed by the Telangana supporters who wanted a teacher from the Telangana region for the top post.
In fact, teachers, students and non-teaching staff agitated for several days demanding the government to consider their request.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi and politicians of different political parties in the region extended support to the agitation. In fact, the controversy was the reason for the delay in V-C’s appointment and the varsity functioned under the Principal Secretary, Agriculture, V. Nagi Reddy for almost two years. Teachers and researchers argued that the absence of a full-time V-C was delaying crucial decisions and hurting research though they hailed Mr. Nagi Reddy’s contribution.