Professor G Gopal Reddy, Principal of Osmania University’s Post Graduate College in Secunderabad, is a political scientist, teacher and a mentor apart from being a strict administrator. A first generation literate born into a backward agrarian family of Pulimamidi village in Kandukur mandal in Rangareddy district, Reddy has always been able to connect better with students who hail from rural backgrounds. A popular student leader and college union president of his times, the 59-year-old says he deals with students effectively by thinking from the student’s perspective. He is also a strong advocate of recognising and performing one’s ‘duty and responsibility’.
“Including students, we all fight for our rights. But nobody talks about their own duties or responsibilities. If we all perform our duties responsibly, there will not be any problems,” says the professor who secured a PhD from Osmania University in 1987 for his work on pressure groups in Andhra Pradesh and policy with special reference to business reference groups. He is currently the president of the 75 years old Indian Political Science Association and is a council member of the International Political Science Association. He has published 25 research papers in national and international journals and completed two major UGC research projects and one minor project. He has also guided four PhD scholars and six MPhil scholars. Another eight PhD scholars are working under his supervision. He also holds the post of Dean, faculty of Arts and Social Science, Palamur University in Mahabubnagar.
Prof Reddy always wanted to be a teacher, for he felt that guidance or mentorship were not given due importance in the country’s teaching system. Teachers, he believes, have the most important responsibility of moulding the future generation. After completing school education from Chinna Golconda village and Shamshabad, Reddy went to Kacheguda Junior College for Intermediate in Maths, Economics and Commerce. He graduated with a BA in Political Science in 1978 from New Government Degree College where he became the first students’ union president in the elections held after the lifting of the emergency that had been imposed on the country at that time. Later, he did an MA in Political Science from Osmania University before pursuing PhD.
He has served as assistant professor and founder-head of department of Political Science at the Mahabubnagar PG Centre between 1987 and 1990 after which he joined PG College in Secunderabad. While at the PG College, he was also Vice-Principal between 1997 and 2005. He was moved to University College for Women in Koti as head of the Political Science department in 2005 and continued there till 2012. Since his return to PG College in Secunderabad, he has been the college principal.
Taking over the reins of PG College at the peak of the student agitation for separate statehood, he also made news for detaining students who failed to gain requisite attendance. “Students thought a new State would get them jobs, recognition and prosperity. They forgot to realise that only substance inside the head and subject knowledge would help them in the competition,” says the Principal, who believes that a student’s focus should be on academics. “I tell them to read as much as possible and follow current affairs. Only hard work and dedication will take them forward. While a good job is their right being graduates, it is their responsibility to earn it,” adds Prof Reddy.
He has only one advice for youth: to ensure that as students they get the maximum out of their teachers. “Students have never approached me regarding not being taught well or non completion of syllabus. Is it not the students’ responsibility to inform me if their teacher is irresponsible? If every teacher takes regular classes with dedication and every student attends classes regularly, both sides will benefit,” he points out.
He feels today’s students are not serious about studies. “Scoring well in exams alone would will not take you places. Marks should reflect the level of knowledge one possesses.”
Good governance and practices, Media and social responsibility, Survey of Elections and Human Rights in 21st Century are some of Prof Reddy’s publications.