AU political science department no longer producing stalwarts

There have been no active students’ unions in Andhra University for past two decades

VISAKHAPATNAM: Andhra University’s Department of Political Science since past two decades is no longer producing towering politicians, like late Lok Sabha speaker G.M.C. Balayogi or former union minister Panabaka Lakshmi.

Students passing out of the department now appear more focused on Group 1 and other jobs. Not even one percent of students enrolling annually are getting into politics. None has aspired for even sarpanch posts, leave alone becoming an MLA or MP.

During the current academic year 2021–22, 46 students are pursuing their post graduation in political science, 20 of them women.

Political Science Department head Peteti Premanandam said lack of interest in politics and financial support are main reasons for students not opting for politics as their career option. This apart, political parties are also not concerned about educational qualifications before choosing their MP or MLA contestants in elections.

“Most students hail from rural backgrounds and economically weaker sections. Their immediate need is money for survival. So, they search for jobs instead of joining politics to serve people. Constitutional bodies should make some changes in election system. They must formulate rules in which knowledge of political science is given importance,” Premandam opined.

Andhra Pradesh ST Commission chairman Kumbha Ravibabu, a former student of political science department, told that there have been no active students’ unions in Andhra University for past two decades. Politicians like M. Venkaiah Naidu, K. Yerran Naidu, Panabaka Lakshmi and G.M.C. Balayogi had been active student union leaders before graduating to politics. Student unions play a crucial role in nurturing students towards politics and making them disciplined politicians.

“It is the government’s responsibility to establish student unions at the university level. There must be regular seminars and meetings on public issues like the present Visakhapatnam Steel Plant’s privatisation. These can be the right step for students to turn into aspiring politicians,” Ravibabu underlined.

Andhra University has been running courses in political science since past eight decades. It is among the few state and central universities in the country offering an exclusive course in political science.

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