AP bifurcation unlikely to hit higher education sector అక్టోబర్ 19, 2013Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Economy, Hyderabad, Rayalaseema, Telangana, universities.
Tags: higher education
Andhra Pradesh bifurcation unlikely to hit higher education sector
N Madhav, Business Standard, Hyderabad, October 18, 2013
Of the 42 varsities in the state, 34 are state universities, three central, five deemed
The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Seemandhra is unlikely to have an impact on the education sectors of both the regions.
Of the 42 universities in the state, 34 are state universities, three central and five deemed. Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema have 10 state universities each, while Telangana has 14. Besides, there are 700 private engineering colleges spread across the state.
While the admission to state universities and private engineering colleges is in the proportion of 85:15 for local (region-wise) and non-local students, half the seats in central universities are for state candidates. Private deemed universities have the autonomy to frame their own rules.
“With the existing local and non-local system in place for state universities and private engineering colleges, there is no reason for non-Telangana students to worry about loss of opportunities,” said Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad, Registrar N V Ramana Rao.
Universities and colleges located close to the capital city have a slight advantage over those in other regions of Telangana, as these provide additional programmes, including job-oriented soft skills enhancement and various training programmes.
Universities and colleges in the Seemandhra region also had these add-on courses, Rao said, adding the bifurcation could work as a launching pad to implement student-centric education policies.
Andhra University Vice-Chancellor G Suryanarayana Raju said, “The need of the hour is to allocate necessary funds to address the quality gap between state and central varsities.” He added in certain areas of research, Andhra University was ahead of many central and deemed universities in the country. Despite this, the university had been at the receiving end when it came to allocation of funds, he said.
Following the state’s bifurcation, universities in Telangana, particularly Osmania University, JNTU and Nizam’s Institute Medical Sciences, would get an impetus in the form of increased funding and new infrastructure.
This wouldn’t be true of universities in the Seemandhra region such as Andhra University and Sri Venkateshwara University.
“The Andhra region has reputed private universities such as Gitam and Vignan, while Telangana has no such facilities,” says P L Vishweshwar Rao, former dean, Osmania University.
Rejecting fears of a loss of education opportunities to the Seemandhra student community, Rao said, “The Seemandhra region has enough engineering colleges and students from there can also access the 15 per cent non-local quota to study in various universities in Telangana.” If the new leadership planed to start new colleges, these could complete with those in Telangana in two to three years, he added.
Capitalising on the government’s lopsided education policies, the private sector has monopolised education in a major way. “This has effectively led to the concentration of institutions at the dispensation of private players, affecting access to higher education among students from underprivileged sections and those in rural areas,” said Chukka Ramaiah, an educationist who also runs a coaching centre for Indian Institute of Technology aspirants.
He added private sector monopoly in higher education was equally bad for Telangana and Seemandhra. “We need to address this and not relate Telangana creation with a loss of education opportunities for students from non-Telangana areas.”
Telangana has 344 engineering colleges, while coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema together have 366. However, through the last three years, many private engineering colleges have been shut, owing to low student turnout and quality considerations. This year, about 150,000 engineering seats would go vacant for want of students.
According to the All India Council of Technical Education, about 15 private colleges applied for closure this year. The state has a capacity to accommodate 3,60,000 students into various streams of engineering.
At the inauguration of a corporate engineering college, JNTU-H vice-chancellor Rameshwar Rao said the state was facing over-supply in engineering colleges. He added the quality of engineering education in Andhra Pradesh was poor.
Rajeshwar Reddy, general secretary, Consortium of Engineering Colleges Management Association, said the admission to management seats in private engineering colleges would see a small impact after the bifurcation. “Students from the Seemandhra region would start looking at other institutes in neighbouring states. However, colleges can shore up admissions from local students,” he said. Currently, admissions in this category account for 10-15 per cent of the overall admissions.
Despite having an edge over other southern states in terms of attracting capital and talent, Hyderabad’s reputation has taken a beating due to lack of clarity on the proposed division through the last two years. “Stability and proper clarity on this would help the city generate more private sector investments and fresh jobs,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, president (staffing), Randstad.
He added the division of the state was a non-event for the education sector as ‘Brand Hyderabad’ and its value accretion for students here had nothing to do with employment opportunities.