A Commemorative Volume on the doyen of academics in the erstwhile AP state, Prof. Vedulla Ramakistayya, released!
Dignitaries paid glowing tributes remembering his foresight & reforms he implemented
Hyderabad, November 2020: The Commemorative Volume on the Life of Prof. Vedulla Ramakistayya, former Chairman, APPSC & Vice Chancellor, Osmania University; was formally released by Dr. Rajiv Sharma, IAS (Retd.), Chief Advisor to Government of Telangana today at an event at Harita Plaza. The Commemorative Volume depicts the enormous contributions made by Prof. V. Ramakistayya, to academics, social and intellectual arenas, during his long and extensive tenures as Professor and Administrator. The program was attended by:
Dr. K. Keshava Rao, MP & former Minister of Education; Dr. Rajiv Sharma, IAS (Retd), Chief Advisor, Govt. of Telangana; Sri. B. Vinod Kumar, Vice Chairman, Telangana State Planning Board; Justice M.N.Rao, Former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh and Former Chairperson, National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), Government of India; Sri. M. Gopalakrishna, IAS (Retd), Former Special Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh; Sri. Janardhan Reddy, IAS, Principal Secretary, Agriculture Dept, Govt. of Telangana; Sri. V Sudhakar, Retd Professor, Osmania University; Mr. Vedulla Narender, Elder son of Prof. Vedulla Ramakistayya; Dr. Usha, Retd. Professor, Osmania University; Dr. V. Narasimha Charyulu, Secretary, Telangana state Legislative Council, Govt. Of Telangana; Prof. T. Papi Reddy, Chairman, TSCHE; Prof. V. Venkata Ramana, Vice-Chairman, TSCHE and family members and well-wishers of Prof. V. Ramakistayya and rich tributes were paid to him by speakers on the occasion.
Prof. V. Ramakistayya, who hailed from a rural landlord family of Munugode, rose to the highest academic positions of Chairman of APCSC and Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University by sheer dint of hard work, sincerity and commitment and was a source for huge inspiration for generations of youth to excel in academics. Prof. V. Ramakistayya served as Head, Principal, Registrar and Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University. He served as Vice Chancellor of Osmania University from 1996 to 1999 and performed to the best of his abilities by utilising the rich experience and exposure gained about the functioning of the Government in the earlier assignments. The University administration was made completely transparent and systems and procedures were established, which ensured the University gaining high on reputation. He served as Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (A.P.P.S.C) from 1986-1992 during which many officers were recruited who have now risen to highest positions in their career and have proven to be very good officers because the recruitment process was fair, transparent and above all free from any interference from anyone.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Rajiv Sharma said, my association with Prof. Ramakistayya, was during my tenure as the Commissioner of Technical education and we used to discuss about technical education expansion in the combined state. Quality was a major issue which continues to be one even now, there were many advisory committees with several seniors like Prof. Ramakistayya, who formed the thinktank, Osmania University and JNTU were actively involved in this exercise, we did increase the number of colleges, at the same time we made sincere efforts to ensure quality not being compromised, despite the constraints. In this connection we used to have workshops and meetings leading to regular interactions with Prof. Ramakistayya. These interactions increased my bonding with him, he was an embodiment of discipline, he had a vision and certain other qualities which made him a strong person, he had strong conviction and valued people who stood by principles. One day he took me to VC’s lounge and gave me an extensive discourse on what is wrong with the education system and what the government could do. He always felt that there was something lacking, and that joint effort should be made by the government along with the education institutions to build character along with education in students. He used to often lament about the decline in moral values in the society, decline in work culture, the ethics, all that really impressed me. He was a stickler of the rules and when we used to request him to affiliate some of the new Engineering colleges, he used to decline by saying he would stick to the high standards and not budge on them. He never compromised on his principles and stood by the values he believed in. As a young IAS officer, I learnt several things and developed a strong bond with him. He had a burning desire to accomplish something in life.
Sri. M. Gopalakrishna said, Prof. Ramakistayya was one of the best Chairman’s of APPSC and he was instrumental in bringing in several reforms. He was a self-made man with solid discipline, determination and dedication. He was extremely versatile with several subjects, a progressive man and an incisive thinker. Coming from the backward district of Nalgonda, he was always concerned about the fluoride incidence and was always wanting to ensure better water supply to the people. He always aspired for change for betterment of the society, he believed in doing things with logic, passion and ethics. He believed in the concept of interactive teaching. He was the one who put the OU MBA course on the world map. Despite his superannuation he was called back by later Governments to take on the cudgels of the university and APPSC, knowing his efficiency and dedication. Prof. Ramakistayya left behind a legacy which will inspire generations to come.
Dr. K. Keshava Rao, Hon’ble Member of Parliament (RS) and Former Minister for Education said that “He was truly a “Watchdog” of University lands which at one time became an open land for all. He took tough decisions to protect the academic culture and reputation. He was a true believer of the concept that empowerment leads one to grow higher and serve the society for the benefit of generation to come”. A true Telanganite, Prof. V. Ramakistayya is essentially an academics, though excelled in administration by sheer stint of his honesty and sincerity.
Sri. B. Vinod Kumar said, recently I was interacting with a student at Osmania University who knew Prof. Ramakistayya and witnessed his work, he told me that Prof. Ramakistayya was an honest and a person dedicated to the cause he espoused, but he was accessible to all the student despite occupying the VCs position, he behaved as a fatherly figure and a commoner within the reach of every student. He used to show utmost concern for the students from the remote areas and deprived sections of the society and was always available to help them to the extent possible. In the Telangana state we are seriously discussing on implement the new education policy initiated by the Central Government, the Hon’ble Chief Minister is particular to implement the new education policy if possible, this year itself. As you all are aware, since the formation of the Telangana state we have been earnestly working towards bringing progress in this backward state, in the first year of formation we worked on power generation, then we constructed projects through which we are supplying water to one crore acres of land to make the state a green Telangana. We are very happy that with a span of five years Telangana has become surplus in these, Telangana is among the top three states in the Country for paddy production. We have focused all these years on infrastructure, social welfare schemes and other developmental initiatives and were highly successful in all of them, now Chief Minister’s concern is education and health and are confident that we will fulfill Prof. Ramakistayya’s dream of reaching out quality education to the remotest part of the state. Prof. Ramakistayya was one of the visionaries who aspired for a progressive Telangana and institutions and projects coming up in future will be named after such intellectuals.
Justice M.N.Rao said, my association with Prof. Ramakistayya was about legal matters, we both had common interests like social justice, we used to discuss on how to implement and interpret it. In those days there was a moment for and against social justice. The concept was not understood by many people. I and Prof. Ramakistayya, always believed for social stability social justice was essential, most of the convulsions and upheavals we are witnessing today are because of imbalance in the administrative setup, in the structural management of the institutions. His greatest virtues were honesty and sincerity, he never believed in compromising on his principles. The brightest period of Osmania University was during his tenure as Vice Chancellor, there was complete unity amongst the faculty, who held him in high esteem and students revered him as a guru. Prof. Ramakistayya will remain an inspiration for many generations to come.
Some excerpts from the book
Shri. G. Kishan Reddy, Hon’ble Minister of State for Home Affairs, Govt. of India, said “Prof. V. Ramakistayya was a man of high integrity and was endowed with tremendous moral fiber that found ample manifestation in his administration as an academic and as a Chairman of APPSC, he an institution in himself. He held positions of eminence but never allowed either power or position to affect his conduct. Infact, many used to feel baffled at his simplicity. He was accessible and available to all the stakeholders. As an academic administrator, he had risen the levels of personal integrity and professional ethic”. Since he came from backward area of Munugode, he had comprehensive understanding of the issues of the state and had a vision for its development.
Sri. B. Vinod Kumar, Vice-Chairman, Telangana State Planning Board, Government of Telangana & Former Member of Parliament (LS) said that “He went on to serve the University and the State with distinction in various capacities. As Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University he worked as a role model in performing to the best of his abilities by utilizing the rich experience and exposure gained good name in the Government”. Prof. Ramakistayya had illustrious career and served the society through his efforts to spread the cause of selfless service.
Justice M.N.Rao, Former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh and Former Chairperson, National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), Government of India said that “Prof.Ramakistayya was a living example of how determination, far sight and hard work can propel a person to greater and enviable heights even in such circumstances. His greatest assets were honesty and simplicity.
Ostentation he did not know. How to manipulate official matters to reach the desired result was an art totally unknown to him. He did not hesitate to give up the path if any further move in that direction would result in compromising principles held dearer to him. One of the brightest periods of the Osmania University was during his tenure as Vice Chancellor. There was so much of unity among the teachers. The teachers and non-teaching staff held him in high esteem and the students revered him like a Guru”.
Dr. Rajiv Sharma, IAS (Retd) Chief Advisor to Government of Telangana said that “there are many things for which he is remembered, but what struck me most was his unfailing dedication to work and a strong sense of ethics and values in public life”. Prof. Ramakistayya had made a name for himself as an academician and administrator with uncompromising honesty, strong work ethics and resolute demeanour as a team leader. He was always concerned about the quality of education and was very strict in enforcing the benchmark standards not only in the campus, but also in the colleges affiliated to Osmania University”. I have fond memories of Prof. V. Ramakistayya and while we observe his first anniversary, I am sure his ideals and vision will be immensely useful to make our educational institutions eminently useful to our society and country.
Sri. M. Gopalakrishna, IAS (Retd), Former Special Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh said that “Sri Ramakistayya by dint of his hard work left an indelible mark in all the varied jobs he held with distinction over a long academic-cum-administrative career. He introduced many reforms in the APPSC. Several IAS officers who worked with him were happy to work in the Commission due to his frank and well considered views and his willingness to listen to good suggestions and zealously implement them. Prof Ramakistayya was one of the few Public Service Commission Chairmen who distinguished themselves in the job and set an example to many successive Chairmen of the APPSC. The State has lost a brilliant intellectual, a thinker, educationist, social worker and above all a good human being who was a well- wisher and great advocate for the neglected sectors of economic development and below the poverty line population”.
Dr. Velchala Kondal Rao, Former Director, Telugu Akademi said that “He was known as a very balanced administrator, who kept his cool even under very trying conditions. He was most unostentatious and unassuming. The most singular of his singularities was his honesty and integrity. To say it all in one sentence, Ramakishtayya was a "No Nonsense Administrator", "No Easy man to Relate, Bait".
Several retired bureaucrats, former colleagues, intellectuals and other walks of life attended the program which was held at Hyderabad on Saturday, November, 21’ 2020. They fondly recalled their association with him and also urged the government to name a leading educational institution in his memory as a token of respect to the highly regarded and respected Telangana intellectual.
Prof. V. Ramakistayya, served as the Head, Principal, Registrar and Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University. It was the Vice Chancellor of Osmania University Sri Hashim Ali Akhtar, ICS (Retd.) invited him to serve as Registrar in 1984 and Prof. Ramakistayya, was ably supported by Prof. T. Navaneeth Rao who later on became the Vice Chancellor of Osmania University. During his stint at OU, he proactively ensured transparency in administration and established protocols, systems and procedures, which enabled the University to gain firm grounding and enormous reputation, which keeps it in good stead even today.
Impressed with his sincerity, honesty and dedication to the profession, Sri N.T.Rama Rao invited him to take up the position of Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (A.P.P.S.C). During his six-year term from 1986-1992, he brought in various reforms and streamlined the recruitment process, which was fair, transparent and above all free from any interference from anyone. This solid foundation laid at APPSC ensures continuous stream of dedicated and committed officers even today, most of whom are holding responsible positions. He had the distinction of undertaking many recruitments including Police, Judicial and Medical Officers who are currently occupying senior positions in both the state of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh.