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AU centenary celebrations to kick-start with alumni meet

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Andhra University is not only the oldest university in the State, but an institution with a legacy and glorious past.

It has completed 90 years, and will be completing 100 years in 2026. Keeping the achievement in mind, the university is planning a 10-year centenary celebration period, beginning from October 12, this year.

“We shall kick-start centenary celebrations on October 12, with the alumni meet,” Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao told The Hindu.

The alumni meet is expected to be held in a big way with HRD minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Chairman of GMR Group G Mallikarjuna Rao and others taking an active part. The Chief Minister is expected to attend.

The planning has already begun, alumni and director Trivikram Srinivas is expected shoot a 15-minute documentary film on the university, Sirivennela Sitarama Sastry is penning an alumni song and it will be composed either by R.P Patnaik or Ramana Gogula.

According to the V-C, the 15-minute documentary will contain 10 minutes of history and heritage of the university and five minutes will showcase the vision of the alumni.

Hoary past

The university was founded in 1926 by its first Vice-Chancellor C.R. Reddy and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was its second Vice-Chancellor. It had some of the best brains and intellectuals to walk the corridors and they include L.M. Chawla (mathematician) from Lahore, Ludwig Wolfe (Chemistry) from Germany, T.R. Seshadri (Science), Mokshagundam Visweswarayya (Technology), C.V. Raman (Physics), V.S. Krishna, Hiren Mukherjee (History and politics), V.K.R.V. Rao (Social Sciences) and Humayun Kabir.

While the alumni meet will just be the beginning, it will be followed by the three-day international Pharmaceutical Congress from December 15 and a talk by Noble Laureate Mohammed Yunus, in the first week of January, 2017.

“He has agreed in principle, the date is to be finalised. The other programmes will follow, we are preparing a 10-year calendar,” said Prof. Nageswara Rao.

Heritage status

On the heritage university status, the V-C said a proposal is being prepared and it will be sent to the HRD Ministry soon.

Normally, the status is accorded to a university that has completed 100 years, but we are pushing our case, as we have already completed 90 years and our track record has been impressive, he said.

Once listed the university, will be sanctioned a grant of Rs. 200 crore, which the management plans to use to renovate the old buildings.

“Some of our buildings, such as the present College of Law, are over 70 years old and they need to be restored and renovated,” said Prof. Nageswara Rao.

Moreover, once included in the heritage list, the university will be listed in the UN Heritage site and it can retain its originality and there will be no threat from encroachments or sale of university land, said the V-C.