Andhra University has been shortlisted amid the top 15 educational institutions under the category of public universities. It now has a chance to be in the list of ‘Institutes of Eminence’. Ten government educational institutions are selected by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to whom an award of 1,000 crore rupees of financial assistance is provided under this scheme over a five year period.
A number of 110 institutions and universities have applied for this scheme, which include 12 Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), three first generation Indian Institute of management (IIMs), other universities of national significance and some central and state universities.
Earlier in an experts’ committee in New Delhi, the officials of Andhra University presented a power point presentation on their 15 year plan (with each plan being for five years) with milestones and timelines. The first five year plan would cost around 1,080 crore rupees. Few officials from the UGC will be visiting AU before announcing the results. The vice chancellor of Andhra University, Prof G Nageswara Rao, stated that they are confident on the university being in the list of Eminence institutions and that the grant would be helpful in improving the infrastructure and research facilities.
However the UGC was criticised for using the same criteria for both well established institutions and conventional universities with the fear of IITs and IIMs taking up all the ten places with their infrastructure, credentials of faculties, etc. But on a different note, the shortlist will be a mix of technical institutions, management and art institutions, and central universities may prove to be favourable to Andhra University. The 15 year strategic plan with segments like research collaboration, infrastructure development, etc may become a positive score for Andhra University.
This idea was implemented by the UGC under the commitment by the government in its 2016 budget speech where the finance minister stated that ten public and ten private will be enabled regulatory architecture to emerge as world class institutions.