Hyderabad: The Osmania University library is in the eye of a storm with Prof. Sukhadeo Thorat, former Chairman of ICSSR and Professor Emeritus, Centre for Study of Regional Development, School of Social Studies, New Delhi, set to rename it as Bharat Ratna Dr. B R Ambedkar Research Centre on May 14.
“There is no need to change the name of the library which is popularly known as Osmania University Library. The kind of money central government is granting the University can construct a new building for the library and name it after the writer of the Indian constitution Dr Ambedkar,” Ratna Sagar, a former student of the university who is now working in the U.S. said.
Abdul Jaleel, a student leader, said that it is an attempt by the Central government to create a divided between the backward castes, especially the SC, and the others by naming the library as Ambedkar Library. “It is not issue between the SCs, BCs and the others but it is being played out in the manner to create dissension on the campus and elsewhere,” he added.
Some groups of former students and others are planning to organize protests during the opening session of the Library.
According to a press release the new center will be the first of its kind in Osmania University with an objective to focus on his ideology of Dr Ambedkar and facilitate research in the areas that are dear to him. The Centre is being set up along with six other centres of excellence under the RUSA 2.0. programme. The Ministry of Human Resources Development has selected OU as of the sanctioned an amount of Rs. 107 crore.
Established in 1918 along with the University, the Library shifted to the present building that was inaugurated by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the then President of India on 3rd August, 1963, said an Osmania University note on its site.
The Library building is situated on the highest altitude of the University campus covering a floor area of 62,000 sq.ft. The Library holds nearly 500,000 books and over 6000 manuscripts including rare palm leave manuscripts. It subscribes to about 400 periodicals and journals in various subjects. The holding of the library includes nearly 58,000 bound volumes of journals, 3,858 Government documents, 272 files, 6428 manuscripts, 143 microfilms and 9 CD ROMS. The Library caters to the needs of Post-Graduate students, research scholars, faculty members, and other employees of the university who are enrolled as members and special members. It provides reference, selective dissemination of information, documentation and bibliographical assistance to its readers. Reprographic facilities are also available on payment including inter-library loan facility. The University Library coordinates a library system, which links the libraries in all the campus and constituent college libraries. The library brings out a monthly list of additions and conducts Book Exhibitions to celebrate appropriate occasions such as the United Nations Week, Literacy Day, etc.
A Competitive Examinations Reference Section has recently been added to the library to cater to the needs of the candidates preparing for various competitive examinations. The Vision of Osmania in the library has rare photographs of the previous Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Chancellors, Prof-Vice Chancellors, plans of the campus buildings, Firman of Nizam VII and other official documents. It is a great attraction for the students and tourists who are interested in the past history of Osmania University.