Andhra University has been well known for its research contributions, being the second major publisher of scientific papers in national and international journals during the Sixties and Seventies. The University is trying to retain its status. Several Departments of University have been identified for special assistance and / COSIST by the UGC. The Department of Physics has been carrying out pioneering research in ionosphere related problems and maintains an observatory with all modern equipment. The University has created a central facility, viz., Centre for Nuclear Techniques, wherein the facilities in the Centre are made available to all user Departments. The Department of Marine Living Resources has established an Ocean Science and Technology Cell under an MOU with the DOD to produce manpower to work on ocean related problems. An exclusive institute, the Delta Studies Institute, was established to carry out research related to specific problems of modern details with financial assistance from Oil India Development Board and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
As can be seen from the Departmental profiles, most teachers have a qualification higher than prescribed, and are actually involved in research or writing books or operating projects. At the time of writing the report, the University teachers have completed 145 projects costing Rs. 8.73 crores and have been operating 157 projects totaling Rs. 12.74 crores. The University's resolve to eliminate ill - written projects by subjecting them to internal peer reviews yielded positive results in that most of the proposals forwarded by the University were positively considered by the Funding Agencies. There is a marginal increase in the number in the number of projects being secured and the percentage of teachers involved in handling the projects. A lion's share of these projects is contributed by the College of Science & Technology with uniform distribution among the various departments. Of the 323 projects being operated in College of Engineering, most of them come from Departments of Chemical Engineering, Pharmacy, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Computer Engineering and Geo-engineering. In the case of College of Arts & Commerce, almost all the projects are in the Departments of Economics, Hindi, Psychology, History, Politics and Telugu. About 440 full-time students are on rolls for the Ph.D., out of whom 151 enjoy fellowships in projects or adhoc fellowships awarded by CSIR. The University has awarded 686 doctorates during the last 5 years, averaging about 140 per year.
The number of papers published during the last five years, by the faculty of the University taken as a whole comes to 4 per teacher, which is not bad in view of the modest 145 projects operated during the period. College wise, every teacher in the Science College published, on the average, 6 papers, in the Arts & Commerce 2 papers and in the Engineering 1.5 papers during the last 5 years. Probably teachers in the University should involve themselves in research more seriously, in general, and teachers in the Engineering College much more seriously than the others.
Considering the student population and the size of the Faculty, the above statistics do project a lower percentage of research output and under utilization of manpower in research. There has been a drastic cut in research admissions, in view of limited hostel facilities available in the University, the students' concern for post-Ph.D. job opportunities, and the University's insistence on high quality dissertation to be approved unanimously by a panel of three examiners inclusive of a foreigner. The inability of finding suitable NET qualified students for the projects, the uncertainty of the scholars to be associated with the project until its completion, and the personal accountability of the teacher on the projects' progress to the funding agency' are particularly in case of those with less than two years of service. Absence of suitable rewards or incentives for serious researchers is also an important reason. The University can only find solace that these observations may not be peculiar to this University alone, but are valid for any University in general. The quantitative output, however, is satisfactory based on the number of international seminars attended by researchers and the faculty.
To maintain quality of research and improve the skills of research scholars, the University has made it mandatory that scholars under Ph.D. programme should give three seminars. The research work is monitored by Doctoral Committees and Departmental Research Committees. Research in SAP programmes is monitored by committees specially constituted for the purpose with the Principal of the College as the Chairman.
The University Library is rich in reference books, but reduced budget allocations and prohibitively high cost of specially journals made it necessary to limit the subscription is partly compensated by the availability of browsing and internet facilities.
The University operates its consultancy services through its Andhra University Development Cell (AUDC) headed by a Director. The cell takes care of the publicity of available expertise in the University and acts as a liason between the University Department and the user. The services available include design of structures, bridges and multi storied buildings, ground water exploration and water quality testing, analysis of food, drugs and pharmaceuticals, soil testing and drilling, image processing and technical know-how for acquaculture. The AUDC also undertakes organization of courses for teachers and public.
The University is very strong in extension services and has distinguished itself in the Janmabhoomi programmes started by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. The Extension Service wing of the University, NCC and NSS units, and several individual departments also independently plan the extension activities. All the successive Vice-Chancellors, most of them hailing from the Faculties of Arts, and one from Social Work Department itself, richly contributed for sustained growth of social work culture in the campus.
Research & Development facilities:
Departmental Research Committees are constituted to monitor matters related to research in the Departments. Further, Doctoral Committee is constituted for each Ph.D. student.
Further, Monitoring Committees at College level are constituted for each SAP with the following members :
- Principal of the College concerned -- Chairman
- Coordinator, UGC Unit -- Convener
- Chairman of the concerned Faculty
- Coordinator of the SAP/COSIST Programme
- A senior Professor from a related Department
- Nominee of industry relevant to thrust area/senior academician either in service or retired in thrust area.
The Committee reviews and monitors academic programmes of the SAP/COSIST in relation to the objectives set for it. The Monitoring Committee also would provide directions in the backdrop of the review, for utilizing the resources, both human and physical, for effective implementation of the academic programmes and to improve the quality of research. The Monitoring Committee will also assess the quality of the academic output in the thrust area and provide guidelines for making an effective use of the output for further dissemination of the material to enrich the academia and improve industrial capability.