With the Government Degree College in Rajahmundry likely to be upgraded into a State University, Dr Ch Masthanaiah, principal of the college, said this year there will be no entrance test for admissions to UG and PG courses at this autonomous college. UG seats will be filled based on merit of the candidates in the intermediate exams, and PG seats will be filled through the Andhra University’s Entrance Test (AUCET). In a freewheeling chat with Express, the principal talked about the plans he has for the college, post its upgradation into a State University.
When will the University status be officially announced for the degree college?
To begin with, in December 2013, the State government recommended our college for upgradation. Only autonomous colleges with excellent infrastructure and research can get this status. Being the only degree college with an independent research centre in the State, we were asked to send a proposal to RUSA for upgradation. We have sent it and now, we are waiting for UGC’s final approval. Hopefully, all the formalities will be over by this academic year.
Will the college conduct its own entrance test for admissions in this academic year?
So far, we have made no changes to the existing admission process. University status is yet to be announced officially. So this year, we will continue with the previous system. Seats for UG courses will be given based on merit in the intermediate exams and PG seats will be filled through the Andhra University’s entrance test (AUCET). Modalities for the new admission process will be prepared only after we officially become a university.
It is very rare for a government degree college to acquire university status. Why do you think the college has come this far?
Yes, perhaps we are the second college in the entire country likely to achieve this. I think our excellent infrastructure and research brought us this great opportunity. Our college is the only one in both the Telugu States to have an independent research centre and to offer PhD degrees too. Currently, seven full-time scholars are conducting research with us. Out of the 88 faculty members, 29 have doctorates. We also have a Rs 25 lakh worth research project with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai. I think, all these factors are working in our favour.
What are the new initiatives one can expect once the college is given the university status?
Once we get the status, more courses will come up. Currently, we have 22 UG courses and seven PG courses. There are 22 departments, and a few more will be added soon. So far we have offered only the conventional courses in both in UG and PG. We are planning to add innovative courses in science and management.
Currently the commerce department in the college has no recognition from AU. Being a commerce teacher, do you have any major plans to boost commerce education at college in the future?
We currently don’t have enough PhD holders with the department to get recognition from the Andhra University. However, we are confident that we will develop the department in a grand manner soon. Currently, we have plans to introduce certificate courses in Insurance, Banking and Food Processing. We have already sent proposals to the UGC for the new courses, and are awaiting its approval. We also have plans to introduce new courses to improve the soft skills of our students.