History of the College
Andhra Pradesh is predominantly an agricultural State with 70% of the population depending on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture not only provides food, fodder and industrial raw material but also serves as the largest sector of employment contributing 45% of State’s income. The Agricultural prosperity of the State is the result of continuous and collective endeavour of several agencies and institutions among which the Agricultural College, Bapatla can claim its legitimate place.
From the time Andhra University carved out, there was a persistent demand for opening of college of Agriculture in Andhra area. The college owes its inception much to the earnestness and dynamism of Sir S V Ramamurthi, ICS, Advisor to the Governor of the erstwhile Madras State, in-charge of Agriculture portfolio. With the launching of many agricultural projects and “Grow More Food Campaign” in post-second World War reconstruction era, an urgent need was felt to have more agricultural graduates the Agricultural College, Coimbatore could then turn out.
As a result of this, late Sir Sonti Venkata Ramamurthi (S V Ramamurthy) and Late Dr B V Nath, Director of Agriculture, Madras decided to start an another Agricultural College in Andhra region which constituted a separate agro-climatic zone distinct from the southern parts of Madras State, wherein the only Agricultural College for the composite State of Madras was located at Coimbatore. The year 1945 happened to be a propitious to press the then Government of Madras, for not only sanctioning the long pending scheme, but also executing in the same year.
Despite war-time conditions prevailing then, the determined efforts of Sir S V Ramamurthi and Dr. BV Nath compelled the government to sanction the scheme for very expeditious execution. Final sanction was accorded in April 1945 and inauguration of college was fixed in July 1945 to coincide with the beginning of the academic year. There was thus hardly a couple of months to complete all preliminaries connected with the selection of a place and site for housing the college, its hostel and the farm including the procurement of materials for various laboratories, classrooms, farm and workshop. Then the Director of Agriculture with his usual zeal, drive and determination to see things through in the scheduled time, set about organizing teams of officers for various tasks. The regional Deputy Director of Agriculture, Mr. Sitarama Pathrudu did the spade work connected with the selection of site, building and farm. His selection of Bapatla, was approved by one and all. To house college and laboratories, there was the lofty U shaped single storied high school building with spacious airy classrooms and two halls, with an attached hostel and extensive playground and compound admitting of extensions and erection of new ones if necessary.
The then District Board President, Sri. P. V. Krishnayya Choudary, with the unanimous support of the members of the Board welcomed the idea of opening of an Agricultural College in Bapatla, and readily offered to lease the High School Building with its compound and Play ground with option to acquire the same at a later date. As the college also require farm for demonstration and practicals, Sri P. V. Krishnayya Choudary’s love and affection towards agriculture and agricultural education persuaded him to get the acceptance of his brother-in-law Sri Y Satyanarayana of Ponnur to lease out his fields at Machavaram for running the college farm for a period of five years.
"16th July 1945 : Sir S V Ramamurthy ICS, Inaugurating the Agricultural College, Bapatla"
"Dr. B. V. Nath, Sri. P. V. Krishnayya Choudary, Sri. S. Patrudu and others in the picture"
Sir. S V Ramamurthy, ICS
Advisor to The Governor of Madras State
Sri. P. V. Krishnayya Choudary
President, District Board
Dr. B. V. Nath
Director of Agriculture
Sri. S. Sitarama Patrudu
Deputy Director of Agriculture
FOUNDERS OF THE COLLEGE
Necessary farm and laboratory equipment and furniture to start with were shared with the Coimbatore College and other research stations in the province. They were moved with lightening speed to be readily fitted up to start the classes on the opening day itself. Dr. BV Nath selected the team of lectures and assistants for the college.
These readymade facilities available at Bapatla for starting the Agricultural College with farm facilities with untiring efforts of Sri P.V. Krishnayya Choudary, unstinted cooperation from Sri Y Satyanarayana of Ponnur, local authorities, several non-officials, and local elite people of Bapatla town, the long cherished dream of people of Andhra came into reality on 16th of July, 1945 when the Agricultural College was started at Bapatla with an intake of 96 students (with 3 lady students) a year with Sri C R Srinivasa Iyengar as its first Principal. It was really a day of rejoicing throughout the Andhra.
Sri CR Srinivasa Iyengar, the first Principal, made it possible in six months to see that the chemical, biological laboratories and engineering workshop was ready to ensure that the coaching was in no way inferior to that was imparted at the parent college Coimbatore. In the meanwhile, he planned to get sanction for pucca laboratories and additional hostel buildings. He also selected the site for the college farm, close to the town.
The University Commission and the Vice-Chancellor of The Andhra University, Dr. C R Reddy inspected the college and recommended its affiliation to the Andhra University from December 1945. The declaration of Indian Independence and Grand Independence Celebrations was the first milestone in the history of this college. The first batch of students completed their course and took their degree in 1948 from the Andhra University, Waltair. An area of 328 acres was acquired on Bapatla-Guntur road in the year 1950 and the college farm was shifted to this new area from Machavaram.
Students in practical sessions in College Farm (bund trimming) (file photo)
The desire of several senior staff members to do post-graduate research evoked positive response from the Government. Recognition was given to the college to start M.Sc (Ag) by research from 1951 with the untiring efforts of Sri P V Ramaiah, Dr T V Reddy and Dr B Appalanaidu. This also paved the way for recognition of Research Stations like Anakapalli, Samarlakota, Kodur and Lam for carrying out post-graduate research. Forty one staff members from different sections of this college obtained M.Sc (Ag) degrees from Andhra University.
Several additional buildings and hostels were constructed and electrified by 1953 during the regime of late Sri P V Ramaiah as Principal. The Andhra Agricultural Union (AAU) was started in 1953 with the sole objective of disseminating the findings of agricultural research by publishing the Andhra Agricultural Journal under the patronage of Late Sri M. Kanti Raj, Director of Agriculture. The journal got national and international recognition.
At this moment of time, the research units of Chemistry, Entomology and Plant Pathology departments were shifted to this college from Coimbatore and the respective specialists were declared as Professors and teaching sections were attached to them. Special mention had to be made of the fillip given to post-graduate research by starting several research projects such as the Weed Control Project, the Rice Stem borer Project, the Cashew Research Station, Land Reclamation Scheme, Biological Nitrogen Fixation Scheme, Phosphate Potential Scheme etc.
In the year 1956, with the formation of Andhra Pradesh, the Specialists of Research units of Chemistry, Entomology and Plant Pathology were transferred to Rajendranagar leaving the Research units at this college as Regional units.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh entered into an agreement with Kansas State University (KSU) under the USAID programme and the first to go to KSU in 1957 were Sri B Appalanaidu, Mr Md Khasim Adeni and Mr V V K Sastry. The first to receive the Ph.D degree under KSU-USAID Programme was Dr B Appalanaidu, who later served the college as Principal for 6 years and also as Director of Extension, APAU.
In earlier years, the college did attract students not only from Andhra Pradesh but also from other States such as Kashmir, Tripura, Orissa, Mysore and Tamil Nadu. In 1957, the annual student intake was raised from 96 to 144 and again in 1965-66 from 144 to 180 to cater to the expanding needs of the State Department of Agriculture and other organizations.
During 1957-59, some more buildings were constructed to house Dairy and Poultry units as well as quarters to Agronomist, Farm Managers and Store Clerk in the College Farm.
In 1962, an Agricultural extension Wing was opened with the financial support of Government of India to cater to the needs of the farmers and to disseminate scientific knowledge to the farmers under the Professorship of Dr A Adivi Reddy, who later became the Principal of the college.
The year 1964 witnessed a turning point in the progress and destiny of this college consequent on its transfer from Andhra University to the control of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University which was established under the dynamic leadership of Sri O Pulla Reddy, ICS (Retd.) as its first Vice-Chancellor. After this transfer, the college was developed in all the disciplines in different ways. Several incentives were given to teachers to improve their academic qualification both within and outside the country.
During 1960-67, J C Bose Life Sciences Block, Library building, new hostel blocks (Siddhartha and Vivekananda), Principal’s quarters, Warden’s quarters and Compound wall were constructed.
A Japanese team of operational scientists led by Mr Nasu stayed in Bapatla between 1965 and 1968 and established a demonstration center in the college farm. The team was also responsible for the release of rice variety ‘Mashuri’, which spread widely in a very short time to several parts of the State.
In 1968, ‘Freedom from Hunger Campaign’ agency established a demonstration centre for rodent control at the college for a limited period and the response of the farmers to the use of different methods of rat control was encouraging since the Government gave 60% subsidy to farmers for owning storage bins for 2 tonne capacity. The Indian Grain Storage Institute established at Hapur by the Government of India with the financial help of the FAO, opened its sub-station at the College Farm in 1969 for implementing the project for 5 years.
The Extension workers in various blocks have been given demonstrations and lectures on safe storage of food grains and control of rats both in houses and fields. Also, in 1969, a Project on Adaptive Research on herbicides was started in the campus in collaboration with Ford Foundation, which has been functioning since then.
Post-graduate programmes with both course work and research components confined to Rajendranagar campus were extended in a phased manner to other two campuses, Bapatla and Tirupati. Thus, post-graduate programme was initiated at Bapatla in Genetics and Plant Breeding in 1968, in Entomology and Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry in 1970. Subsequently the Post-graduate programmes were started in Agricultural Economics in 1976, in Plant Physiology in 1978, in Agronomy and Plant Pathology in 1982, Extension education in 1984 and in Horticulture in 1986.
Another innovation adopted by the University was adoption of Trimester System together with Internal Assessment System and Advisory System for improving the quality of instruction and evaluation of students’ performance. The trimester system was replaced by semester system in 1972.
The Silver Jubilee of the college was celebrated in 1971 with late Sri A P Shinde, the then Minister of state for Food and Agriculture, Govt. of India as the Chief guest in the presence of late Sri Kakani Venkataratnam, Minister of Agriculture and late Sri O Pulla Reddy, Vice-chancellor and it was a milestone in the history of this college.
The Lab-to-Land Programme was inaugurated in 1979 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Indian Council of Agricultural Research and was implemented by Department of Extension Education in 4 phases between 1979 and 1987 in some villages of Guntur and Prakasam districts.
The Rural Agricultural Work Experience Programme (RAWEP), an innovative academic programme was designed and initiated by APAU under the Vice-Chancellorship of Sri J Raghotham Reddy in 1980-81 to enable the final year B.Sc (Ag) students to work with and live among the farmers in rural areas for one semester so that they would get firsthand experience of rural agricultural conditions and to study the ways in which their own skills and knowledge could be utilized to improve the conditions of the farmers. This popular academic programme formed a model for adoption by several other Agricultural Universities in India.
In 1982, the research units of Plant Pathology, Plant Physiology and Entomology housed in the campus were shifted to the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Lam, Guntur.
Several scientific clubs and chapters were started to further the scientific outlook of teaching and scientific staff. Dr A Appa Rao, the then Vice-Chancellor inaugurated the Plant Physiology Club in 1985. Presently Plant Physiology Club, Bapatla Chapter of Indian Society of Soil Science and Entomology Club are functioning at the campus.
An Indo-US team visited the college in August 1987 to assess the impact of Agricultural Universities on the farming community. Dr M V Reddy during his tenure as Professor and Principal (1980-83) released rice variety BPT 5204 as ‘Samba Mashuri and the APSSDC alone marketed about 5700 tonnes as certified seed. APSH-11, a Sunflower hybrid variety was also released by him from this college. The variety Samba Mashuri which is popularly called as “The rice rains not grains, but coins".
As there were many former students occupying very high positions both within and outside the country, a need was felt to start an Alumni Association and the same was inaugurated in December 1988 by Dr N G P Rao, the then Chairman, ASRB, New Delhi to have close interaction with one another.
The Agricultural College, Bapatla is also a parent organization for Agricultural Engineering and Home Science Colleges, as both colleges started functioning in the campus. In 1983, a 4-year B.Tech (Agril. Engineering) degree programme was started in the college with an intake of 20 students, which was raised to 30 in 1985. The first batch of the Agricultural Engineering graduates of APAU came out in 1987. On 24th February 1988, our Chief Minister Padmasri N T Rama Rao laid the foundation stone for the construction of College of Agricultural Engineering building in an area of 11.3 ha near V D O Training Centre on Bapatla – Karlapalem road. The B. Tech (Agricultural Engineering) Programme was declared as an independent College of Agricultural Engineering in 1989 and the college moved to its new premises in May 1994.
The College of Home Science was also started functioning on the premises on the premises of this college in 1983 utilising the services of teachers for offering several courses in agriculture. Subsequently, the college moved to its new premises in Bapatla – Guntur road in 1989.
In April 1988, the Andhra Agricultural Union organized a one-day seminar on ‘Scientific Agriculture – Crop Productivity’ under the chairmanship of the then Vice-Chancellor, Dr A Appa Rao. An Auto-tutorial Classroom, An Enzymology Laboratory and Plant Health Clinic were also inaugurated. Silver Jubilee Meeting of the APAU was inaugurated on 11 July 1988. the meeting of Board of Management was held in October 1988 in this campus. On the same day the Employment Guidance Bureau was also inaugurated by Dr D Bapi Reddy, Member, Board of Management of A P Agricultural University.
Visitations of cyclone are common features to Bapatla campus. Two of them are worth mentioning. The meeting of the Faculty Board of Agriculture was going on in the College on 19th November 1977. Unfortunately, the very day a cyclone occurred with devastating effect on the public, which caused extensive damage to buildings and crops. Over 3000 cyclone affected rural folk were accommodated in the college buildings for over one month. The second cyclone on 9th May 1990 devastated the office buildings, classrooms, examination halls, cattle sheds, girls’ hostel, Dr B V Nath Auditorium, Seed and Grain storage sheds, Assembly Hall, compound walls, and internal roads of the Agricultural College and the College Farm. Former Vice-Chancellor, Dr M V Rao as the then World Bank Consultant inspected the cyclone devastated college and farm and recommended munificently for release of Rs.170.15 lakhs of renovation and reconstruction of the cyclone devastated college and the college farm.
In January 1989, the prestigious B V Nath Auditorium was also inaugurated by Dr M S Swaminathan, former Director General of International Rice Research Institute, Philippines.
Yet another milestone in the history of the college was starting of Ph.D programme in May 1993 in the departments of Plant Pathology, Plant Physiology and Entomology with an intake of 2 students in each department. Efforts are being made to extend this programme to other P G departments.
A number of new buildings like the New Nivedita Hostel, Dining Halls, Class rooms-cum Examination Halls, the College Farm office building and Bio-chemistry Department, which were constructed with the funds generously got released in time by Dr M V Rao, the then World Bank consultant were declared open by him as Vice-chancellor of A P Agricultural University in 1993.
Another landmark of this college was the inauguration of Golden Jubilee Celebrations on 11 July 1994 presided over by the Vice-chancellor, Dr M V Rao. The chief guest was Dr G L Kaul, former Horticulture Commissioner, Govt. of India and alumni of this college. Some of the nationally and internationally renowned scientists who were former students of this college gave lectures on various topics of agricultural importance. Notable among them were Dr N G P Rao, former Chairman, Agricultural Scientists’ Recruitment Board, New Delhi, Dr S V S Sastry, former Director, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria, Dr J Venkateswarlu, former Director, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, Dr B Venkateswarlu, former Director, Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Dr I V Subba Rao, Director of Research, APAU and Dr M V R Prasad, Director, Directorate of Oilseeds, Hyderabad. Several former students occupying several coveted posts in different fields also participated.
Of the total 79 Agricultural students of ANGRAU, the Bapatla Agricultural College students (54) outshined their counterpart competitors all over the country in securing good ranks for admission into postgraduate programmes during the year 1999-2000. Of them, 24 got Junior Fellowships. The Agricultural College, second of its kind in South India, with an infrastructure of 12 teaching departments, 2 farm units (College Farm and Botanical Garden), Physical Education department and a Regional library, have developed strategies for enabling these teaching, research and extension units to work unitedly for achieving best results. Accordingly, in the year 1999-2000, the Agricultural College, Bapatla has been accredited by the Indian council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi in the first phase itself based on the ICAR Pre Review Team Report.
On completion of 50 years of publication of the Andhra Agricultural Journal from Agricultural College, Bapatla, the Golden Jubilee year was celebrated during the year 2004.
The Agricultural Human Resource Development Programme (AHRDP) brought about a sea-change in the infrastructure and management of all teaching departments of Agricultural college, Bapatla. By sanctioning advanced equipment and by sending teachers abroad training Information Technology (ARIS) has been completely utilized by the students. With the advent of Internet and CDROM facilities, the teaching and research has also been improved tremendously. Sixteen teachers of this college have been deputed under this project to USA, Australia, Canada, Philippines and Thailand for short term overseas training / study tour / training in management areas.
The AHRD Project of the university has provided many student amenities viz., Student Counselling and Placement Cell, College Health Centre, New hostels both for boys and girls, additional facilities for sports and games, and multi-gym.
The college upon completion of 60 years of service in the mankind, and prosperity of farming community, celebrated Diamond Jubilee Celebrations on 2nd January 2005, with the gracious presence of Hon’ble Chief Minster Dr. YS Rajasekhar Reddy.
This college is proud of some of the alumni like Dr S V S Sastry, Dr N G P Rao, Dr U Venkateswarlu, Dr G L Kaul, Dr C S S Rao, Dr G S Murthy, Late Sri N Anjaneyulu Naidu, Dr J Venkateswarlu, Late Dr B Venkateswarlu, Dr Y N Rao, Dr I V Subba Rao, Dr D V R Reddy, Dr M V R Prasad, Dr P S Reddy, Dr A P K Reddy, Dr. A. Padma Raju and several others who either occupied or occupying several important positions in prestigious institutions and in public life. Likewise, several alumni are in Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Railway Service, Indian Forest Service etc. Thus, this college holds the promise of a bright future for Indian Agriculture and national well-being of the country.
Bapatla is situated in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh on the East Coast of India at an elevation of 5 m above the mean sea level and 7 km away from the Coast of the Bay of Bengal at the intersection of 15.54oN latitude and 80.30oE longitude. The College is about a kilometer away from the Bapatla Railway Station on the Chennai - Vijayawada rail route.
The region experiences tropical humid weather. The decennial average annual rainfall is about 1031.1 mm of which 621.2 mm is received during the South – West monsoon, 319.5 mm in the North - East monsoon and 90.4 mm during the rest of the year. The maximum day temperature goes up to 45oC during May while the lowest night temperature drops down to 15oC during January. The area is prone to severe cyclonic weather during May, November and December months.
The College presently comprises a Main Building, an Annexe Building, J C Bose Life Sciences Block, Biochemistry Block, AgronomyBuilding, Crop Physiology Building, Agricultural Statistics Building, Diamond Jubilee Building, Central Instrumentation Cell, Student Learning Centre, Library Building, Assistant Comptroller Building, the Transport Workshop, Health Clinic, Undergraduate Classrooms and Examination Halls, Student Activity Centre Building, Student Farm Block, Auditorium, M. B. Sheds for Indoor Shuttle, ARIS Lab, SC, ST, OBC & Minorities Students Coaching Cell and Agricultural Information Centre.
In addition, there are 4 hostels for UG boys (Pothana, Vemana, Siddhardha and Vivekananda) and four hostels for UG Girls (Nivedita Hostel Blocks I, II and III and Nivedita Diamond Jubilee Block), and separate PG hostels for both boys and girls. Three messes-cum-dining halls for men students and two messes-cum-dining halls for women students, one steam unit and one special mess and two reading rooms, a student pavilion for recreation purposes, two gymnasia (for boys and girls), indoor stadium, two guest houses (12 suits), Associate Dean’s quarter, teaching and non-teaching staff quarters, and an Officer’s Club for staff members. Each hostel is provided with a cycle stand besides three cycle stands and a car parking facility for the College needs.
The Agricultural College Farm was initially started in 1945 on a leased land at Machavaram Village, 17 Km away from Agricultural College, Bapatla for a period of five years. It was later shifted to the present location in the year 1950 having an area of 176 ha. Cashew Research Station and Gram Sevak’s Training centre were allotted 60 ha. The present total area of the farm is 116 ha. It is situated at an altitude of 5 m above mean sea level at 80º 30’ E longitude and 15º 84’ N latitude and 8 km away from the Bay of Bengal and 3 km away from Agricultural College campus. The soils of the college farm vary from sandy soils of coastal belt to black soils of deltas. The farm was divided into 5 blocks for administrative convenience viz., Wetland block, Northern block, Orchard block, Southern block and Yard block. Each block is under the control of one farm manager.
Dr. NGP Rao, Chairman, ASRB, inaugurated Alumni Association on 26th Dec 1988. The Alumni association has conducted various programmes with the support of Alumni in addition to various college development activities. The alumni association has taken very active part in organizing Silver Jubilee and Golden Jubilee functions. Keeping in view of expanding the scope of activities of the Alumni Association, most importantly for fund rising for college development and various other student encouragement activities, The Alumni Agricultural Graduates Trust for College Development (AAGTCD, ID NO: IV/720/2/2014 SRO, Bapatla), the official organ of the Agricultural College, Bapatla was established and registered on the 10th day of January 2014.
The Alumni Association (AAGTCD) has established strong linkages and bonding with Alumni and Alma Mater and has been aiding for various activities for college development. In view of the advancement in the technology, to CONNECT to Alumni, the AAGTCD has launched website for keeping informed about the news about the college, and the activities of AAGTCD. The website (www.bapatlaagricos.org) was launched on College Foundation Day, i.e. 16th July 2020 coinciding with Platinum Jubille of the College.
The Second oldest Agricultural College, Agricultural College, Bapatla has developed young minds into most knowledgeable and dedicated civilians who are spread across world excelling in their professions. The staff and students and all those concerned have contributed immensely for the nation, and the alumni of this institution have contributed their might in building up this institution to its present stature. During last 75 years, the College has built most sophisticated infrastructural facilities keeping abreast with the changing requirements for most effective building of capacities of students.
The college has completed 75 years in the service of mankind and move always with inspiration from cryptic and highly meaningful message given by Late, Sir S V Ramamurthi while inaugurating this college on 11 July 1945 “"Cultivate Faith with Seeds of Vision to Yield Fruits of Action".