Shankar Chelluri, 1991-93 batch from Economics shares with UoH Herald his memories of being at our University. Shankar has 20 years of rich and diversified experience in the field of Communications – News Reporting, Public Relations & Corporate Communications. He has worked as Regional Director – South for Vaishnavi Corporate Communications Pvt. Ltd and as General Manager and Head – Corporate Communications for the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited managing the entire Image & Reputation Management for the country’s first airport developed under PPP model in India.
Presently he has started S Paradigm Consultants, a company that aims to help clients communicate better with all their identified stakeholders.
During my last year of graduation at AV College of Arts, Science and Commerce in early 1991, my fascination for Economics grew tremendously. Our teacher, Mrs. Lakshmi kindled the interest to study Economics further and I was keen to pursue a Masters’ program.
My search for universities offering Masters’ program in Economics led to a couple of them including Delhi School of Economics, JNU, HCU, Cochin University, Osmania University, Gokhale School of Economics, IGIDR, Centre for Development Studies among others. I wrote the entrance exams for all the above and qualified at four for admission – Gokhale, Osmania, DSE and HCU. I decided to pursue the Masters’ program in Economics from HCU and joined in April 1991 – Delhi School was considered very quantitative and Gokhale had a development feel while Osmania University was not having a very good faculty. My family didn’t have any idea about Masters’ program as my father and younger brother were engineers and my sister was a doctor – hence it was my decision to pursue the program.
The two-year residential program was a good experience in understanding economics and my area of specialization was International Economics. The 2000-acre campus far away from the city is beautiful and I got involved in many extra-curricular activities like sports and university elections. The Mandal Commission was also a highlight during my stay and slightly affected our studies with lot of protests and agitations in the campus. I represented the University for Football | Cricket | Basketball among other sports and played at the huge sports ground. The cosmopolitan student crowd makes it a truly national university and interacting with students from such diverse cultural backgrounds while staying at the hostel was absolute fun.
I cherish my stay at the University and my classmates were a very helpful lot with nearly 60% coming from Orissa. I had fun learning Energy Economics by late Prof. Madduri, International Economics from Prof. Kamaiah and had my encounters with teachers like Prof. Vatsala and Prof. Raja but all in jest. The foundation and interest in Economics helped a lot in my career as I moved in business reporting with newspapers like Indian Express, Times of India & Deccan Chronicle. The ability to interpret financial results, knowing the nuances of economy – GDP | GNP | Fiscal Deficit and the role played in international area was the result of this foundation. The Economics Dept. had a very college feel to itself but with some great faculty and superb library. I chose journalism as a career based on ability to write long term papers pursuing the program and occasionally visiting the library.
We celebrated 20 years of our course at HCU recently with a bunch of our classmates – all of us well placed with an IPS & IAS officer, a lot of teachers and some entrepreneurs as well. Incidentally, my wife is also from HCU and we met at campus and got married in 1994. I keep visiting the campus once in a while and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and am also an active member of the alumni community. Life has come full circle as my wife teaches there and our son wrote the entrance exam for the five-year integrated program in February 2014. Maybe my son will also graduate from the University and makes us proud!!
Shankar Chelluri can be reached on email firstname.lastname@example.org