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Now, BITS plans for best B-school

Having established its name as a premier institute for technical education on par with IITs, BITS is aiming high, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2007 00:13 IST
Ashok Das

The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), having established its name as a premier institute for technical education on a par with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), is aiming high. On the anvil are plans for a top class Business School on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

The management institute would be set up in collaboration with a reputed international institute and would be one of the best, said Dr KK Birla, noted industrialist and Chancellor of the BITS, at the foundation-laying ceremony of the Hyderabad campus of the BITS.

Aiming high

•The BITS already has three campuses, at Pilani, Dubai and Goa.

•The institute of management would be set up in collaboration with a reputed international institute.

Hyderabad campus of BITS would be world-class, replicating all good educational programmes at BITS, Pilani.

•BITS is the only university that is privately funded by trust/trusts set up by the Birla family.

•It also offers scholarships to 22 per cent of students from its own budget.

•BITS attracts the best young minds from the country and, every year over 20 Board toppers from among the 26 Boards join the BITS.

“After the Hyderabad campus is completed, we would like to diversify and establish an institute of management on the lines of the IIMs. At my age, one may call it a dream. But I hope this dream will turn out to be true,” Dr Birla said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy laid the foundation for the campus at Jawaharnagar in Rangareddy district on Saturday. The classes will start next year.

The BITS already has three campuses, at Pilani, Dubai and Goa.

Dr Birla said the Hyderabad campus of the BITS would be world-class, replicating all good educational programmes at the BITS, Pilani. “The Goa campus of the BITS is regarded, from the angle of architecture and beauty, as the best institute in the country. Our aim will be to make the Hyderabad campus even superior to the Goa campus,” he added.

He said Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy had invited him way back in October 2005 to set up a campus of the BITS, Pilani at Hyderabad. Prior to that, many members of Parliament from the state had requested him in this regard. “You (Rajasekhar Reddy) were so persuasive that I had to accept this challenge of establishing the vast campus in Hyderabad. A challenge it is, as on Sunday, 18th November 2007, just a few months hence, on the holy festival of Gopashtami connected with Bhagwan Shree Krishna, I shall be entering the 90th year of my life. In spite of my age, I have accepted this challenge,” he stated amidst loud applause from the crowd.

He said it was because of the high level of cooperation from the state government that the BITS could acquire a 200-acre plot in Jawaharnagar, Shamirpet Mandal in a short span of time. The campus would be developed with a total outlay of about Rs 280 crore.

<b1>Dr Birla said that when he took charge of the BITS Pilani as its Chairman in July 1983, it had only 2,500 students. Today the number of students, including those enrolled in the off-campus programmes, has increased to 18,000. By next year, the BITS Pilani will be turning out 5,000 graduates per year — 90 per cent of them engineering graduates. In the next five years, this number should double.

“At the same time, we are conscious that the quality of education should not suffer with the increase in numbers. In fact, my aim is to further improve the quality of education imparted at BITS. Not only are we involved in quality education in the BITS; we are also conducting several research and development programmes.

All our campuses at Pilani, Dubai and Goa house many research laboratories in all areas of science and engineering. One of our significant research programmes is about safe disposal of nuclear waste, which poses a major danger for humanity. In our research we are using the technique of compacting nuclear waste by using special strains of bacteria,” Dr Birla said. He added that the BITS was the only university that is privately funded by trust/trusts set up by the Birla family. It also offers scholarships to 22 per cent of students from its own budget. The system attracts the best young minds from the country and, every year over 20 Board toppers from among the 26 Boards join the BITS.

Rajasekhar Reddy profusely thanked Dr Birla for deciding to set up the BITS campus at Hyderabad. “It is a dream come true for us,” he said and announced waiver of Rs 2.5-Rs 3 crore that BITS was to pay to the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority towards statutory charges. Referring to Dr Birla’s intent to set up an IIM like B-school, Reddy said he would not like to sound greedy but would request Dr Birla to set up the B-school at Hyderabad or anywhere in Andhra Pradesh.