VIJAYAWADA: A unique institution of higher education set up with the objective of attracting talented students mainly from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds has turned 25, and its alumni have decided to celebrate the Silver Jubilee in a fitting manner on December 22 and 23.
The Andhra Pradesh Residential Degree College (APRDC) at Vijayapuri South in Nagarjunasagar, which began functioning on September 1, 1982, has withstood the vicissitudes of policy changes and successive governments’ indifference to produce some quality graduates who have made it to the ranks of IAS, IPS and various other Central services, besides Group-1 of the State service, academia, business and a number of other important fields of activity. Established with the initiative of the then Chief Minister Bhavanam Venkataram, the college began offering about 40 seats each in B.Sc., B.A and B.Com. However, as a result of several experiments done by way of introducing industry-oriented courses, the college is today left with only 75 seats in all.
It was turned into a conventional degree college during 1986-88 when the officials thought that students were getting attracted towards Left wing extremism, but the then Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao ’s fondness for anything related to ‘Gurukulam’ salvaged the situation and brought it back to the residential fold from 1988-89.
Though APRDC and Silver Jubilee Degree College in Kurnool are the only residential degree colleges in the State, the former suffers the disadvantage of being under the control of A.P. Residential Educational Institutions Society (APREIS) which pays more attention towards schools and junior colleges. Thus, APRDC often receives less attention than it deserves from the government.
“The college, despite many limitations, has so far produced some of the best graduates with social commitment and progressive outlook, and it is time the government paid more attention to it,” says MLC Chukka Ramaiah, a former principal of the college.
“We are organising the Silver Jubilee celebrations on a grand scale and look forward to our alumni, wherever they are, to join us,” says college principal G. Seetharama Rao. The alumni can contact firstname.lastname@example.org (9849010302) or the principal (9440958037).