Even as Osmania University is celebrating its centenary year, eleven departments in Arts College have either crossed the 50 or 60-year mark. They include: Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Economics, History, Political Science, English, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu and Urdu. These were offered at the Intermediate level with 25 teachers and 225 students at Gunfoundry area.
The Department of Telugu was started with Rayaprolu Subba Rao as its first head. One of the stalwarts of the department was Prof. Divakarla Venkatavadhani, who was the son of twin poets known as ‘Tirupati Venkata Kavulu’. Prof. C Narayana Reddy, who earned his fame as a lyricist for Telugu films, also taught in the Department. Prof. Reddy picked a small topic and traced its evolution and connect it to the present. The UGC selected Department for the Departmental Research Support Programme in 1994. Seven Faculty members have become vice-chancellors while two are Gyanpeeth award winners.
The Department of Arabic was started with Prof. Abdus Sattar Siddiqui, as the head with three faculty members. Six teachers were awarded the Certificate of Honour by the President of India. The Department today offers a special course in Arabic to professionals being deputed to the Gulf countries by the MNCs.
The Sanskrit Department runs a Master’s course to meet the teaching requirements of colleges offering Sanskrit as a second language or as an optional at the Intermediate and Undergraduate levels.
It has a course on Telangana literature.
Maulana Syed Ashraf Shamsi was the first Head of the Department of Persian. Prof. Sharif Unnisa Ansari of the department was awarded with Padma Shri.
Teaching of economics began at Intermediate through Urdu medium in the Department of History. A full-fledged Department of Economics was established in 1935 with introduction of Economics in BA and MA in 1937. Prof. C H Hanumantha Rao, who served as a member of the Planning Commission, member, Rama Krishna Sastry, member of the National Academy of Development, undertook research on the economy of AP and Telangana. As Vice Chancellor, Prof. D S Reddy had invited eminent scholars like Gautam Mathur and Raja J Chellaiah to teach in the Department.
Kannada received prominence right from the inception of the University 1918-19. Prof DK Bhimsen Rao was the first Head. Osmania University is the only University in Telangana offering Post-graduate and Research programmes in the Kannada language. The Kannada Development Authority, instituted a fellowship of Rs 2,000 per month, to encourage the study of Kannada outside Karnataka State for five students of both 1st and 2nd year of PG. Kannada is offered as second language and as modern language in undergraduate courses in the University College of Women, Koti.
The Department was established in 1919 with Sri Qazi Badruddin as the first Head. It offered undergraduate courses in 1919 and the Post-Graduate programme was started in 1924. The UGC has granted Departmental Special Assistance (DSA) for a period of five years from 2007. The department has completed over 15 major research projects funded by different agencies. Prof. Vaikuntham of the Department served as the Vice-Chancellor of Kakatiya University and also as the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences. Prof. Sarojini Regani served as Director, State Archives and Research Institute and as Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences. Prof. A Satyanarayana has been awarded visiting Fellowship by Jacob University, Bremen, Germany for two semesters during 2010-11.
The Department of English was started in 1919 with Prof. N G Welinker as its first Head. English was offered as a subject in Intermediate. It was introduced in undergraduate courses in 1921. The MA programme was introduced in 1937 and the M Phil in 1973. The first PhD was conferred in 1965.
The Department has had on faculty such eminent scholars as Prof. Hussain Ali Khan, Prof. Syed Abdul Latif, Prof. M S Doraiswamy, Padma Bhushan Prof. Shiv K Kumar, Prof. V K Gokak, Prof. HNL Sastri, Prof. Vasanth A. Shahane and Prof. Isaac Sequeira. Prof. Shiv K Kumar, Prof. Vasanth A Shahane, Prof. Satyanarain Singh, Prof. Isaac Sequeira and Prof. R.S. Sharma served as Deans of the Faculty of Arts. Prof. Shiv K Kumar and Prof. Vasanth A. Shahane, Prof. Satyanarayana Singh also served as principals of the Arts college.
The Department was awarded SAP for a period of 5 years by the UGC in 2009. From 2007 onwards there has been a regular intake of foreign students in MA English programme. From 2009-2010 onwards, the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) was introduced for the MA Programmes.
Dr Meera Manvi, Dr Siddiq Ali, Dr Sukhbir Singh, and the Late Dr D Venkateswarlu were awarded Fulbright Fellowship and Sri Syed Khaja Moinuddin and Dr D Prema Kumari were awarded the British Council’s Teacher Fellowships. Dr B Gopal Rao taught at the University of East Anglia (UK) as visiting Professor (2001-2002).
The Department started the English Language Cell in 1973 for offering remedial courses in English for postgraduate students from non-English medium background.
The teaching of Political Science at Osmania University began in the year 1919 in the Department of History. In 1948, Political Science acquired the status of an independent discipline with the establishment of a separate Department.
Political Science is offered as a course of study at the UG, PG, MPhil. and PhD level. Further it is offered through distance mode at UG and PG levels. Presently, Political Science is offered at PG level in University College of Arts and Social Sciences and three other constituent colleges.
The Department has the distinction of contributing its outstanding personalities to various positions. The members of the department have occupied eminent positions at the state, National and International level. Among them, the late Professor G Ram Reddy had the distinction of heading the University Grants Commission as its Chairman and was also the Vice-Chairman for Commonwealth Learning. The late Professor Rasheeduddin Khan was nominated to Rajya Sabha. Professor N G Rajurkar delivered series of lectures to the Members of the Parliament in 1995.
The department was established in 1918-19 with Sri C N Joshi as its first Head. Marathi is offered as the second language in affiliated colleges. During the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the University in 1968, the government of Maharashtra instituted a Professorship called the “Maharashtra Chair of Marathi,’ Dr Sreedhar Rao Kulkarni was the first to occupy the Chair in 1970. Prof S R Kulkarni, Prof V D Kulkarni and Prof Manik Rao Dhanpalwar of this department were prominent academicians. Those who completed PhD in Marathi are awarded ‘Madhekar Memorial Gold Medal’.
The Department of Urdu was founded in 1918 with Prof. Waheeduddin Saleem as the Head. It started with an Intermediate course and later the degree programme was launched. The Post Graduate course was started in 1923. Mr Mohiuddin Qaudri Zore, Mohd Abdul Quader Sarvari and Syed Sajjad were prominent teachers of the Department.
The Nizam Government sent Mohiuddin Qaudri Zore and Syed Sajjad to London and Germany for research and later they joined the department as Professors.
The research programme was launched in 1940s, and Prof. Rafia Sultana, former Head Department of Urdu and Dean, Faculty of Arts, was the first woman in Osmania University and in the entire country to receive PhD degree in 1957. The Department started the M.Phil course from 1976 onwards. The Department was selected by the UGC for the Special Assistance Programme (SAP) for a period of five years to carry out research on "Deccani Language and Literature".
Eminent literary personalities like Moulvi Abdul Haque (Known as Baba-e-Urdu), Prof. Masood Hussian Khan (formar VC Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi), Prof. Gulam Omer Khan, Dr Zeenath Sajida, Prof. Syeda Jaffar, Prof. Mughni Tabbassum, Prof. Ashraf Rafi, Prof. Yousuf Sarmast, Prof. Akbar Ali Baigh, Prof. Afzaluddin Iqbal, Prof. Gyas Mateen, Prof. Mohd. Baig Ehsas, Dr. Aqeel Hashmi, Prof. Maimoona, and Prof. Fatima Begum served as Heads of the Department.