Prakasam to realise dream of university after 50-year wait

Andhra Kesari  University in ANU PG Center in Ongole
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Andhra Kesari University in ANU PG Center in Ongole

Highlights

The locals, students, educationalists and public fronts are praising the government for passing the bill to establish Andhra Kesari University in the Legislative Council

Ongole: The locals, students, educationalists and public fronts are appreciating the government for respecting their dream of having a university in the district, and passing the bill to establish Andhra Kesari University in the Legislative Council on Thursday.

At the same time, they are demanding the government to pay real tributes to Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu by completing the construction and starting classes from 2022-23.

It is more than half a century since the Prakasam district was formed by carving out the backward areas from Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool districts, but the realisation of the promises made to develop the backward district, including the establishment of a university, remains a dream to the natives. The district came under the jurisdiction of Acharya Nagarjuna University after its establishment in 1976. As the demand for separate universities in the districts continue, the State government promised to upgrade the existing PG Center of the Acharya Nagarjuna University to new Prakasam University and allocated 110 acres of land in 1994-95 and matched funds to the funds from the University Grants Commission to construct the buildings. But since then the land and funds are waiting for utilisation.

The students and their parents expected that their migration for education might come to an end when the government announced the second-generation universities in 2006, but their dreams were shattered. Later, the 12th State Higher Education Plan for the period 2014-17, the state project directorate of APSCHE also recommended for establishment of the university in Prakasam district but it was not realised. After a lot of persuasion, the then Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation for the Andhra Kesari Tanguturi Prakasam University at Ongole on December 12, 2018, but failed to complete the procedures to realise it.

On August 12, 2020, Education Minister Dr Audimulapu Suresh announced that the government will develop the university at Ongole as an education special university, with the integrated BA, B Ed and BSc, BEd courses, along with other regular courses. On June 30, 2021, the State Cabinet approved the establishment of Andhra Kesari University at Ongole and assured sanction of Rs 339.54 crore in four years for the construction and operation.

The Education Minister said that the university will have 19 departments at first, with 76 teaching and 38 non-teaching posts and introduce teacher training courses on the campus.

The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed the Andhra Kesari University Bill on Wednesday and the Legislative Council passed the same on Thursday.

Celebrating the happiness aside, the Prakasam Zilla Abhivruddhi Vedika president Chunduru Rangarao, Ongole Citizen Association president Kolla Madhu said that they are appreciating the government for passing the bill. They asked the government to not delay the further procedure to fund and start construction of the university to see the classes are started by 2022-23 academic year.

Dr Nukathoti Ravikumar, director of the Janudi--Centre for Literature and Arts and a teacher, welcomed the government's decision to develop the university as a teaching special university. He wished that the university will enhance the values of the teaching profession, by training the teachers to provide real education to the children. Rayapati Jagadeesh, the AP Vidyarthi JAC president thanked the government and demanded it to see the university also has hostels, labs, and latest equipment along with the ground by the time classes start in 2022-23.

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