University in Prakasam district, a pipe dream
It is almost half a century, Prakasam district was formed by carving out the backward areas from Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool districts, but the...
- The state government promised to upgrade the existing PG Centre of Nagarjuna University to new Prakasam University and allocated 110 acres of land in 1994-95
- APSCHE state project directorate also recommended for establishment of university in Prakasam district in 2014-17
- A former deputy collector says the agitation for district development will bring the university in the district
Ongole: It is almost half a century, 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 natives.
It is not that there are no students in the area or no land available for university, it is just the lack of concern and commitment in local leaders on the development of district.
Prakasam district was formed on February 2, 1970 by combining three taluks from Guntur, four taluks from Nellore and three taluks from Kurnool districts.
Most parts in the western area of the district is rain shadowed area and have less rainfall every year, compared to other districts. Most people living here are poor, agriculture-based, fluorosis-affected and are ready to migrate in search of work.
The people involved in the creation of district promised the people to offer special attention to backward district and provide water for drinking and irrigation needs, university for education, industries for development of the district.
The district came under the jurisdiction of Nagarjuna University after its establishment in 1976.
As the demand for separate university in the district is continued to rise, the state government had promised to upgrade the existing PG Centre of Nagarjuna University to new Prakasam University and allocated 110 acres of land in 1994-95 and funds from the University Grants Commission to construct the buildings.
Since then, the land and funds are waiting for utilisation. The students and their parents expected that their migration for education might came to an end, when the government announced second generation universities in 2006, but their dreams were shattered.
Later, the 12th State Higher Education Plan for 2014-17, the state project directorate of APSCHE also recommended for establishment of the university in Prakasam district but it is not realised.
Shamsher Ahmed, a retired deputy collector, said that as the district was carved out of three districts of different dialects, culture and interests, there was a scarcity of leader to represent the district and lead any agitation for common benefit of all three parts.
This weakness helped the ruling parties to neglect the district and conveniently forget all promises to public here, he added.
He expressed hope, that the days are changing and collective protests and agitation for district development will definitely bring the university in the name of Prakasam to the district.
Now, the Prakasam district has 83 UG, 23 PG, 21 Engineering, 1 Medical, 11Pharma, 18 MCA, 28 MBA, 43 B Ed., 1 Law, 17 M Tech and 8 M Pharma colleges.
The UG, PG, MBA and B Ed colleges comprises 45 per cent colleges under the affiliation of Acharya Nagarjuna University. These colleges in Prakasam district have about 27,500 seats of the total 63,000 students in Acharya Nagarjuna University.
Nukasani Balaji, member of Dr YSR Horticulture University Board, said that in his recent meeting with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, he discussed the university issue and Naidu is favourable for establishment of university in the district, along with other educational institutions like mining and veterinary colleges.
Andhra Pradesh Students JAC president Rayapati Jagadeesh said thousands of students are migrating to Guntur, Vijayawada, Nellore, Tirupati or even Chennai for continuation of education.
He alleged that the politicians are seeing the poor in the district as voters and neglecting their needs.
He warned the government to take a favourable decision on the university and other promises to the district or the students will start continuous agitation and educate public on the cheating by the politicians until now.