As part of its efforts to rev up the higher education system, the Andhra Pradesh government has asked all universities in the state to soon go online and make all services available at the touch of a button.
All universities have also been asked to complete end-to-end computerisation of all systems and services to improve accessibility and efficiency.
E-office will be another initiative where, apart from all staff files, paperwork will be eliminated for a seamless integration of services.
The universities will then be networked online to offer integrated services to students.
Private universities are already at the forefront, offering all their services to students online.
"Our state has been a pioneer in e-governance and other IT-enabled services but strangely the universities are found to be lagging way behind. Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has taken a critical view of this and directed that the institutes of higher learning rev up their efforts in this direction," a top official of the Higher Education Department told PTI.
The AP Centre for Financial Services and Systems (CFSS) will be the nodal agency that will help the universities achieve this task.
The Higher Education Department and the Finance Department held talks on this and decided to engage the CFSS for taking up end-to-end computerisation of records in all state universities.
"Simultaneously, the universities will go online and students can access the services, right from the admission process, in a hassle-free manner. All this is long overdue," the official pointed out.
A biometric attendance system will also be introduced in the universities for the staff as well as students for better monitoring.
"In fact, the Chief Minister wanted all this done a few months ago but many universities did not have Vice- Chancellors in place. Specific instructions have been issued afresh to complete the whole process in a month so that by the beginning of the next academic year the universities will have truly entered the digital era," the official added.
Meanwhile, the Higher Education Department has issued a circular to all universities asking them to focus more on research in various fields.
"This is one area where universities in the state are clearly found to be lacking. There are several schemes offered by Central institutions for funding research activity but the state universities have virtually ignored them," the official said.
By laying thrust on research, the universities could improve outcomes not only in terms of innovations but also the teaching and learning processes, the Chief Minister told a high-level review meeting recently.
Also, the universities have been asked to establish a network for possible collaborative research, going by their strengths in a particular field.
As a first step, Vice-Chancellors and heads of departments of all universities in the state have been brought on to a common platform to share ideas for research activity.
"This will be a larger good not just for the universities but the state as well," he added.