Hyderabad: Students and parents are greeted by hoardings of all colours and political ideologies during the counselling for Osmania University’s postgraduate courses at Nizam College Grounds. There have been reports of threat against the candidates from Andhra and Rayalseema regions, though, no official complaints from any candidate has been received. The various student associations, with affiliation to different political parties, have set up stalls on the spot to attract freshers into their fold and making sure that ‘outsiders’ feel positively intimidated, and thus, are dissuaded from joining the course on the Osmania University campus.
“Students from Telangana have been chased away from colleges in Andhra region for many years, and were denied admissions as well. We just want that the 15 per cent seat, meant for outstation candidates, be filled in the second phase of counselling,” said G Ravi, a representative of Telangana Rashtra Samiti Vidyarthi Vibhagam (TRSV-OU). For the 47 PG courses, 15 percent seats are open for contest and the selection will be based on the ranking in the merit list. Hence, candidates from outside OU region as well as locals can apply for the seats based on their rank.
Most of the students from other regions in the state prefer studying in OU due to location of coaching centres in Hyderabad. “I would like to pursue my M.Sc in Physics in Hyderabad as the coaching for CSIR is better here and the accessibility to library and other facilities are easy,” says R. Bharani from Vizag.
The lingering threat is disguised in the statements of the student associations here. Telangana Navanirman Sena says, "We do not want students from other regions applying for courses on the campus. It is in their own safety that they opt for affiliated colleges, but not OU campus.”
A former OU student, accompanying his cousin for the counselling, said the hostility begins the moment the association representatives learn about your name. “My cousin is from Vizag and I warned him of taking care of his accent as the association members would identify him. For candidates it becomes mandatory to join one of the organisations else it is difficult to continue in the campus,” he said on the condition of anonymity.
However, there were also others who did not find anything unusual. “The counselling started on time at 2 pm and we did not face any problem,” says Moumita Mandal from West Bengal who accompanied her sister for counselling in M.A English. Professor T. Krishna Rao, director of admissions at OU, refused to comment on the issue when contacted. The number of outstation candidates admitted in the courses at OU campus will be known after the completion of counselling on July 23.