Prof Y Narasimhulu
Kurnool was earlier called Kandenavolu, which meant the town of grease. Legend has it that in the 12th century, the Odderas were carting stones for the construction of the Navabrahmeswara temple at Alampur and before they could cross the Tungabhadra the local villagers gave the men grease to apply on their cart wheels. Kandenavolu, in course of time, came to be known as Kurnool. At present Kurnool District comprise fourteen Assembly constitutions, two Parliament constitutions, three Revenue Divisions, 54 Revenue Mandals, 53 Mandal Parishads, one Municipal Corporation, three Municipalities, 899 Gram Panchayats, 920 Revenue Villages, and 615 Hamlet Villages.
Kurnool is the only city in India that is located in between two rivers: Tungabhadra and Hundri. The District of Kurnool is the Gateway of Rayalaseema, bordered with Mahaboobnagar District in the North, Ananthapur District and Kadapa District in the South, Bellary District of Karnataka in the West, and Prakasam District in the East. Kurnool City is located at a Distance of 200 km from Hyderabad.
Kurnool town is currently the headquarters of the district. Telugu, Urdu and Kannada are the most widely spoken languages. The district is situated between the northern latitudes of 14 54’ and 16 11’ and eastern longitudes of 76 58’ and 78 25’. According to the 2011 Census, Kurnool district has a population of 4,046,601. Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 14.65 %. Its male-female ratio is 1000 : 984 and literacy rate is 61.13%.
Rayalaseema University, Kurnool, came into existence, fulfilling the long-cherished dream of people of Kurnool district in the year 2008, by Act No. 29 of 2008 enacted by the Legislature of the State of Andhra Pradesh and published in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette on 24 September 2008. Prior to this, the University was formally launched by the G.O.Ms. No.89, Higher Education (U.E.II) Department, dated 25.06.2008. The Establishment of Rayalaseema University is part of the vision of Government of Andhra Pradesh to promote access, equity, and inclusiveness in Higher Education.
The Postgraduate Centre at Kurnool was started by Sri Venkateswara University in 1977 with a view to imparting higher education especially to the rural youth of the backward District of Kurnool in the drought-prone region of Rayalaseema. The University established the Postgraduate Centre with two courses, one in Economics with specialization in Area Planning and Regional Development, the other in Operations Research and Statistical Quality Control to cater to the needs of the industry. The Centre was housed in a small building to start with and later, in 1979, was shifted to the old municipal office buildings. Two more courses, in Physics and Chemistry, were added in 1979. State Bank of India offered a chair for the post of Professor in Fine Arts in memory of Sri Damodaram Sanjeevaiah in 1983 for undertaking research which was later converted and established as Department of Telugu in 1985. The Centre was shifted to University-owned building at B.Tandrapadu, a small village near Kurnool, in 1990. In 1993 the affiliation of the Centre was transferred to Sri Krishnadevaraya University. Courses in Computer Science, Management, and Mathematics were started in the year 2000 and courses in Botany, Organic Chemistry, and Zoology were started in the year 2006. With the establishment of Rayalaseema University, MA in English and MEd courses were started in the academic year 2008-09; and MSc in Biotechnology in the academic year 2009-10. MCom and MSc in Electronics and Communications were started in 2012 -13.