VISAKHAPATNAM : Andhra University has another feather in its cap. It secured second position among the State Universities in the country as per India Today group-Nielsen Survey. AU vice-chancellor GSN Raju announced it at a news conference here and said that the varsity had clinched the second position among 330 state universities and bagged the eighth spot among all universities in India including state, Central and deemed universities.
Raju said that it was a great honour and an occasion to celebrate. Lauding and thanking the university officials, students, research scholars and staff for their efforts, Raju said that the university would work to achieve the first position in the next six months. The VC said that parameters like researches, collaborative programmes, placements, seminars, UGC programmes, foreign studies and student projects had been considered for the survey and the AU stood second, he said. The VC said that the survey was done in five stages.
Starting in 1926 with just four departments, the AU now has 100 departments with 440 teaching staff and more than 8,000 in-campus students. AU is the alma mater of legendary personalities like Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, CV Raman, VS Krishna, freedom fighters, renowned scientists, politicians, artistes, business personalities and IAS/IPS serving the nation. When education was almost a luxury for common man, the AU provided education with low cost.
Ninety years down the lane, the AU, headed by GSN Raju is gearing up to compete with private colleges and major universities in the country. Be it in providing collaborative programmes with international universities or facilitating WiFi on the campus, the AU is on the forefront. It is the first university in the state which provides WiFi on its 500-acre campus and has more than 10 MoUs with renowned international universities with a few more are in the pipeline. It also has one of the biggest School of Distance Education block with more than 40,000 students.
On the needs of the students and the present technical aspects, the varsity has come up with gap-year concept, where a student can take a break from the course after a year of pursuing it and go for some startup or entrepreneurship training after informing the university about it, and providing valid authentication. The varsity is encouraging startups by making students visit startup camps on weekends.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) which provide interactive user forums to support community interactions between students, professors and faculty have been introduced. Diploma courses in many foreign languages, including Japanese, will start this year.
Speaking to Express, Raju said that there was a need to provide students with more exposure to practical education along with facilities. He also said that the university, staff and students had been making efforts to stand first in the next survey. He said that the varsity was not competing with private universities, but private universities must compete with AU.