Visakhapatnam: The University of Andhra Pradesh has the potential to become one of the top five varsities of the country, said AP Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy on Friday. He was speaking at the annual alumni meet of the university in Vizag.

AU vice-chancellor PVGD Prasada Reddy said the varsity was ranked 14 by a special committee formed by the HRD ministry to find out Institutes of Excellence.

“But, I feel a pinch in my heart that it is not in the top five. The varsity has a great history and all scopes to jump to the top five positions,” said the CM. Pointing to a few issues that have become hurdles, he expressed concerns over the huge teaching staff vacancy in AU.

“Over 400 teaching staff is vacant in the university and this is the truth of the university. Our government would resolve the issue at the earliest,” he said.

The CM also assured that the state government would provide Rs 50 crore towards a Rs 100-crore AU alumni corpus planned by the association of former students.

GMR Group Founder chairman G M Rao had suggested the need of creating a corpus of Rs 100 crore for the AU Alumni Association with a grant of Rs 50 crore from the state. The fund would be utilized for various developmental works of the varsity.

“The Alumni board has urged the government to provide a matching grant of Rs 50 crore to raise a corpus fund of Rs 100 crore. I am assuring the AU Alumni of releasing the fund. I hope the Alumni board would approach the government,” said the chief minister amid thundering applause at the AU Convention Hall.

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