The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani institute, Goa, was formally renamed the BITS, Pilani — KK Birla Goa Campus in the memory of the institute’s first chancellor and eminent industrialist, Dr KK Birla, by Congress party general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi, who unveiled a mural and plaque for the occasion at the institute on Thursday. Gandhi was accompanied by chancellor and pro chancellor of the Institute, Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group and Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and editorial director of HT Media Ltd, and daughter of the late Dr KK Birla.
The function took place at the Central dome building of the 180-acre campus in the presence of faculty, students of the institute and other members of the illustrious Birla family, including BK Birla, and Dr KK Birla's other two daughters, Nandini Nopany and Jyoti Poddar.
The unveiled gold and bronze circular mural with the image of Dr KK Birla had a dedication on a granite-and-glass tablet, quoting his vision for BITS: "Our prime consideration has been to prepare young men and women to act as leaders for promoting the economic and industrial development of the country and to play a creative role in the service of humanity."
After unveiling the mural, Gandhi addressed and interacted with the students at a function in the auditorium of the institute for over an hour-and-a-half.
``As we dedicate this campus, we pay a tribute to Dr KK Birla and take forward his vision for excellance in learning.…We celebrate his life,’’ said Kumar Mangalam Birla, in his address to the students.
Gandhi also paid a tribute to the family, alluding to the association of the family patriarch, GD Birla, with the freedom struggle and his role in empowering India through industry and education. "You owe a lot to this family," he said in his informal address to the students.
``I didn’t think I could ever sit through a speech of any politician. But, Rahul Gandhi’s speech and his entire demeanor was unlike typical politicians, he talks our language. It was very interesting,’’ said Varad Gunjal, a second year engineering student at the Institute.