The state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus was on a 40-kilometer rural stretch of from the town of Madakasira to Penukonda when it fell into a valley as the driver of the bus reportedly lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid an incoming auto-rickshaw.
The bus fell into the ravine after hitting protective barriers where a widening of the road was in progress.
The bus was carrying 60 passengers, most of them engineering students.
At least 30 people were reportedly injured in the accident.
State officials, including three ministers, rushed to the scene of the accident to supervise the relief operation.
The injured were taken to hospitals in Penukonda and Bengaluru city, 150 km south from the location of the accident.
“In deep shock and anguish after learning about tragic accident…Such human errors can be averted,” Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu wrote on Twitter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the “unfortunate accident” and offered condolences to the affected families.
Naidu announced a compensation package of $7,900 to the families of those who died in the accident and $3,200 to the seriously injured.