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Home Cover Features Leading Light!

Leading Light!

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Leading Light!

Osmania University is multi-faculty and multi-disciplinary university, offering rich and varied courses in the faculties of Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Law, Education, Engineering, Technology, Commerce, Management, Informatics, Pharmacy and Oriental Languages benefitting thousands of students. The iconic Varsity kicks off its three-day centenary celebrations on April 26, 2017.

The Osmania University, one of the oldest iconic institutions in the State of Telangana will be holding its three-day centenary celebrations from April 26, for which President of India Pranab Mukherjee is expected to lead the celebrations. The other dignitaries to grace the occasion include E. S. L. Narasimhan, Governor of Telangana state, K. Chandrasekar Rao, State Chief Minister, Kadiyam Srihari, Deputy CM and Higher Education Minister, K. Keshava Rao, MP (Rajya Sabha),  Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for HRD, Prof. Ved Prakash, Chairman, UGC, and K. T. Rama Rao, State Minister for IT & Municipal Administration.

OU Beginnings

The University spread over 1300 acres has been named after its founder, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, who through a farman (order), established the University on 26th April, 1917.  “It is the seventh oldest in the country and third oldest in South India. Though the need for the University for the Hyderabad State was felt, both by the intelligentsia and people, the initiative came from a civil servant, Sir Akbar Hydari, who was then the Home Secretary to the State Government.

“Sir Hydari, in a memorandum to the Education Minister in early 1917, emphasised the need to establish a University of Hyderabad with ‘Urdu’ as the medium of instruction as it is the language of the widest currency in India, official language of the State, and it is a language which is understood by a vast majority of the population of the State,” recalls Prof. Haripuram Venkateshwerlu, Special Officer, OU Centenary Celebrations. The Special Officer said that Sir Hydari believed that higher education must have its foundations deep in national consciousness.

Leading Light!

Prof. Venkateshwerlu said that the University has a vast sprawling campus set in the picturesque and idyllic surroundings with buildings of great architectural elegance and variety to enhance its beauty. “The availability of latest facilities makes it a very modern University. “The Alumni have distinguished themselves in several walks of life and include former Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, Ministers, Parliamentarians, Legislators, eminent scholars, educationists, diplomats, administrators, lawyers, doctors, engineers, scientists, writers, sportsmen and men of arts and culture,” he said.

According to the Special Officer the development of the University may be divided into four phases, viz.

Leading Light!

First Phase (1917 to 1947): The first phase was characterised by Urdu as the m

edium of instruction in all branches of higher education, including Medicine and Engineering. During this time, efforts were made to establish a number of teaching departments as well as to structure academic program

mes. The Departments of Chemistry, Civil Engineering, English, History, Mathematics, and Physics were started at this time. The first 30 years saw the initiation of several new disciplines, like Sociology (1937-38), Geography (1942), Zoology (1924), Botany (1930), Geology (1936), Education and Law (1923), Engineering (1929), Medicine (1926-27) and Agriculture and Veterinary Science (1948).

Leading Light!

UG, PG, Ph.D Prog. Started: This phase also saw the introduction of Under-Graduate Programmes (1925), Post-Graduate Programmes (1925) and Ph.D. Programmes (1938) in several of the faculties. Further, some of the premier institutions that were earlier established in the State (namely, the Nizamiah Observatory, the Nizam College, Medical College, Teachers Training College, and the Law School) were transferred to the University at that time.

As the University was established without much infrastructure, the University Departments and Offices were initially located at different places in the city. It was only in 1934 that the University was shifted to the present campus. The inauguration of the new Campus, along with the inauguration of the Arts College in 1938, is one of the historic events in the annals of the University. Thus, in the first phase, efforts were mainly directed towards developing academic programmes and the necessary infrastructure.

Leading Light!

Second Phase (1948 to 1968):  The year 1948 was historic for two reasons. In the first place, the princely State of Hyderabad became a part of new Independent India. Urdu was replaced by English as the medium of instruction. The new Departments created during this phase, included Hindi (1948-49), Political Science (1947-48), Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (1949), Journalism (1954), Chemical Engineering (1951), Public Administration (1956), Library Science (1959), Electronics & Communication Engineering (1959), Statistics (1966), Genetics (1966), and Geophysics (1967).

In order to give an impetus to the learning of foreign languages, the University started Diploma programmes in French and German (1954-55) and Italian (1957-58). As the number of Social Science Departments increased, the Faculty of Social Sciences was carved out from the Faculty of Arts in 1964-65, in order to give them a better identity.

Library Commissioned: The University Main Library, with a floor area of 62,000 sq.ft. was commissioned in 1963. The Law College, Department of Geophysics, the Administrative Building and other buildings to house colleges, hostels and various University Services were constructed manifesting University’s growth. Women’s education also got an impetus when the Women’s College, which was earlier operating from temporary buildings, moved to its present location in 1948. To meet the ever-increasing demands of higher education of the region, the University permitted a number of affiliated colleges to be started under private management.

Leading Light!

Third Phase (1969 to 1993):  The period between the Golden Jubilee (1968) and the Platinum Jubilee (1993) can be considered to be the Third Phase. During this phase, the University also witnessed considerable growth in research and development activity. With financial support from National and International agencies several inter-disciplinary Research Centres were established.  The Regional Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies (1970), Institute of Genetics (1978), Research and Training Unit for Navigational Electronics (1982), Centre for Area Studies (1983), Audio-Visual Research Centre (1983) and English Language Teaching Centre (1988) are a few examples. New Departments to be created during the period include the Department of Biochemistry (1972), Microbiology (1974) and Applied Geochemistry (1991). To strengthen its infrastructure, the University established the University Computer Centre (1975).

Distance Education Centre Set-up: In order to make higher education accessible to the deprived and disadvantaged, the Centre for Distance Education was established in 1977.  It now offers Under Graduate and Post-Graduate courses in Arts, Social Sciences, Commerce, Management and Sciences, apart from job-oriented programmes. The Academic Staff College was started in 1987 with the support of the University Grants Commission (UGC), to train and orient college and university teachers both in pedagogy and in areas of specialization.

Keeping in view the imperatives of rural development, particularly human resources development and rural industrialization, the University embarked upon the strategy of decentralization of higher education, by establishing Post-Graduate Centres in the districts.

Leading Light!

Fourth Phase (1994 onwards): The University introduced several community-relevant courses as part of its development plan for the year 1996-2001 in areas of Environmental Sciences, Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Tourism and Hotel Management, Computer Applications, Rural Engineering and Health Technology, etc.

New P.G Centers were established at Districts of Mahabub Nagar and Nalgonda. Later these were elevated to the status of New Universities along with the P.G Center at Bhiknur, Nizamabad District in the years of 2006- 08.

“Notable persons conferred with Honorary Doctorate was Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1953) the Father of Indian Constitution and Dr. Manmohan Singh (1994) the Father of Economic Reforms and former Prime Minister,” Prof. Venkateshwerlu said.

As part of celebrations there are plans to invite many Nobel Laureates. Kurt Wuthrich, Professor of Chemistry, addressed the students on Feb. 10, 2017 and Kailash Satyarthi is also expected to address. Other events include discussion on perspective for the next 50 years, share success stories of alumni, seminar on Telangana Culture and Literature, Cultural Programmes in coordination with Department of Culture, VCs’ Conference on Role of Higher Education and Mock Parliament, involving students.

“It is proposed to felicitate 100 reputed alumni that include former VCs and reputed personalities,” the Special Officer said. Apart from the three-day celebrations in April, an international conference on ‘Insurance’ has been planned by the Dept. of Commerce from July 29 - 31, 2017,” he said.

“Two exhibitions, firstly a Photo Exhibition will be organised at the venue showcasing the rare photographs of Osmania University and the progression of Osmania University from 1917 to 2017. Secondly, there are also plans to hold Science Exhibition, ” Prof. Venkateshwerlu said.

Other celebrations include, National Sports and Games Meet in Nov. to Dec. this year. On March 11, the varsity organised a centenary run, where many of them took part.

Leading Light!

Flagship Programmes: OU’s other flagship programmes in the Centenary year include establishing a Centre for Telangana Studies, which will be headed by a Centenary Chair and will have the mandate to collect and analyse information pertaining to societal issues and their mitigation from all the 31 districts. Also set up Skill Development Centre to address training human resources - faculty of various universities, Government and private colleges and other institutions effectively. This facility would train the trainers from the State who in turn would improve the skills of the students enrolled in their institutions.

“The University proposes to set up Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Studies to provide a platform for conducting research to prepare inventories of biological resources, understand threats to the habitats and the species and propose mitigation actions. This Centre will act as a liaison between the State Forest Department and citizens,” he said.

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