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Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani

Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani (shortened BITS Pilani or BITS) is a private institute of higher education and a deemed university under Section 3 of the UGC Act 1956.[12] The institute is one among the 6 Indian 'Institutes of Eminence' recognized by the Government of India in 2018.[13][14] It is established across 4 campuses and has 15 academic departments. It focuses primarily on higher education in engineering and sciences and on its management programme.[15] Its history, influence, wealth and endowments have made it one of India's most prestigious universities.[16][17][18]

Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani
BITS Pilani-Logo.svg
Mottojñānaṁ paramaṁ balam (Sanskrit)
Motto in English
Knowledge is Supreme Power
TypePrivate (Deemed university)
Established1964 [1]
ChancellorKumar Mangalam Birla
Vice-ChancellorProf. Souvik Bhattacharyya[2]
Administrative staff
Undergraduates2,698 annually[5]
Postgraduates1897 annually[5]
Other students
333031 [6]
Campus1,320 acres (5.3 km2)
AffiliationsACU,[7] UGC[8] NAAC,[9] PCI,[10] AIU[11]

The institute was established in its present form in 1964. During this period, the institute's transformation from a regional engineering college to a national university was backed by G.D. Birla. BITS, since then, has expanded to campuses at Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai. BITS alumni have continued to strongly shape the Indian economy and culture. Through its highly successful and widespread alumni network spanning globally across varied fields, BITS Pilani has made a significant impact on corporates, academia, research, entrepreneurship, arts and social activism.[19][20]

BITS conducts the All-India computerized entrance examination, BITSAT (BITS Admission Test).[21][22] Admission is purely merit-based, as assessed by the BITSAT examination.[23][24] The fully residential institute is privately supported.[25]




Aerial view, BITS Pilani (1978)
Aerial Image of the Pilani campus with the newly inaugurated Rotunda taken by RC club, BITS Pilani
Clock Tower, BITS Pilani

The Birla Education Trust was founded in 1929; the intermediate college became a degree college and later offered postgraduate courses. The masters programme in electronics began in 1955.[26]

Reacting to early criticism about the project, contemporary advisor Thomas Drew said:

In my judgment to attempt to develop an American institution in India would be like trying to graft apples on a pine tree. We have not been asked to make such an attempt. We were asked to help devise in India an Indian technological school to produce graduates with the know-how to produce knowledge pertinent for India…. In many respects they consider us immature, rude, hypocritical barbarians who in certain respects happened to hit it lucky. To be viable in India an institution must be framed with Indian values in mind.[27]

BITS Pilani became a deemed university established under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956 by notification No. F.12-23/63.U-2 of 18 June 1964.[28]

In 1964, the Birla Colleges of Humanities, Commerce, Engineering, Pharmacy and Science were merged to form the Birla Institute of Technology & Science. The board provided direction in developing a curriculum, selecting equipment, upgrading the library and recruiting (and training) an Indian faculty. To quicken the pace of reform he convinced C. R. Mitra to be the new director of the institute. Mitra advocated a "practice school" internship program as a requirement for faculty and students. The Practice School Program is still a requirement for students in BITS.

Clock tower, BITS Pilani

According to Robert Kargon and Stuart Leslie:

BITS offered an opportunity to build a leading technological university in India responsive to India's goals, to produce practising engineers who will be in a position to graduate and to build industries in India, under Indian conditions. With its emphasis on the Practice School and ties to Indian industry, it helped educate Indian industrialists along with Indian engineers who would remain in India, in contrast to many other engineering colleges in India, most of whose graduates would leave the country after obtaining their basic engineering education. The Ford Foundation Evaluators...proudly noted that the Indian government, despite having given no direct financial support, was looking to BITS to provide a model for future development in education in engineering and science in India.[27]

The acceptance rate of BITS Pilani is 1.47% based on the data of BITSAT 2012.[29]

Like Berkeley, BITS Pilani has also experienced student activism. BITS Pilani had to be shut down multiple times because of student strikes during 1973, 1980, and 1985.[30][31].

Multi-campus expansionEdit

Campuses Within India: Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad

In 1999, enrollment expanded from 2,500 to 4,000[32] and campuses were founded in Dubai (2000) and Goa (2004). In 2006, BITS Pilani acquired 200 acres (81 ha) of land from the Andhra Pradesh government through the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority for a new campus. The land is located in Jawaharnagar, Shameerpet Mandal in the Rangareddy district.[33] The BITS Pilani Hyderabad campus opened in 2008; the school also has a virtual university[34] and an extension center in Bangalore.[35]

Chancellor and academic headEdit

BITS Pilani has a tradition of long-serving chancellors and vice-chancellors. Its founder, G.D. Birla, was chancellor from the college's inception until his death in 1983.[32] He was followed by his son, Krishna Kumar Birla, who was chancellor until his death in 2008.[36] Currently, Kumar Mangalam Birla is chancellor and Shobhana Bhartia is pro-chancellor.[37]

The first academic head of the institution was J. C. Stracliff (Principal) and V. Lakshminarayanan (Vice-Principal) for a period of 3 years during 1946–1949.[38] V. Lakshminarayan became Principal of Birla Engineering College in 1949 (served from 1946 to 1963 in Birla Engineering College), then becoming the first Director of BITS-Pilani in 1964 when it was formed and served till 1969.[39] He was succeeded by BITS directors C.R. Mitra (1969–1989)[40] and S. Venkateswaran (1989–2006). "director" denoted the head of a campus.

Under Prof S. Venkateswaran's leadership, the University grew significantly. He was instrumental in expanding BITS, Pilani to establish the other 3 campuses in Goa, Dubai and Hyderabad. With the advent of multiple campuses, the overall head was known as "vice-chancellor"; As a result, Dr. Venkateswaran became the first Vice Chancellor leading all campuses in 2001.

After his retirement, Prof. L.K. Maheshwari became the second Vice Chancellor in 2006 and kept office till 2010 when he was succeeded by Prof. Bijendra Nath Jain who held office till 2015. The director of BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus, Prof. VS Rao took over in August 2015 as the 'Acting Vice chancellor' while the search was on for a suitable candidate to hold the top post in BITS Pilani. In April 2016, Chancellor Kumar Mangalam Birla announced that Prof. Souvik Bhattacharya of IIT Kharagpur / Jadavpur University was selected to take over as the new Vice chancellor of BITS Pilani. He is stated to take over in June 2016 to become the 6th academic head of the institute.[41]


Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad campusesEdit

Before 2005, admissions were based on the candidates' score in the qualifying examination.[42] BITS had been moderating marks from various school boards since 1982.

Since 2005, admission to BITS has been offered on the basis of the student's performance in the all-India entrance examination, the BITS Admission Test (BITSAT). For foreign students, BITS accepts the SAT and SAT Subject Tests in chemistry, physics, and Math 2C.[43] BITSAT, for which applications are submitted in December, is conducted online in May and June in cities all over India. The exam tests the candidate's knowledge, reasoning and analytical abilities in physics, chemistry, mathematics, English and logical reasoning, and is based on higher secondary curricula in India and abroad. A 2012 news report showed that BITSAT had become more competitive than the IIT-JEE, in terms of the ratio of the number of aspirants to the number of seats available.[42] To be eligible for admission, students are required to obtain a minimum of 75% marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics (with a minimum grade of 60 percent in each subject) in their higher secondary examination. Since 2011, number of applicants for BITSAT has been increasing steadily from 123,000 in 2011 to 180,000 in 2014.

Dubai campusEdit

Admission to Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Dubai Campus is solely based on scores in the 12th standard qualifying exam. Although the BITS Pilani-Dubai campus was established for the educational requirements of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, admission is open to students of all nationalities.[44]


Pilani campusEdit

Pilani is located 220 kilometres (140 mi) west of Delhi and 217 kilometres (135 mi) north of Jaipur; the BITS campus is south of the bus stand. The area of the campus (which includes the Birla Education Trust) is over 990 acres (400 ha); its developed area is 49 acres (20 ha), of which 60,769 square metres (15.016 acres) is used for the BITS building.[45] The campus has 11,245 square metres (121,040 sq ft) of classrooms and 7,069 square metres (76,090 sq ft) of laboratories.

Saraswati temple, BITS Pilani

BITS has a Birla Mandir dedicated to the goddess Saraswati, Sharda Peeth, built by G. D. Birla. The white marble temple is built on a 7-foot (2.1 m)-high foundation, with 70 pillars for support. It covers an area of 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2).[46] The Pilani campus has India's first technological museum, the Birla Museum. Built in 1954, it showcases technological achievements.[47][48] BITS has a 2,535-square-metre (27,290 sq ft) auditorium decorated with paintings by students from the department of art and decoration.[45]

Residential and dining facilitiesEdit

Student hostel on foggy winter morning

The institute has fourteen hostels in total. Each hostel is referred as a "Bhawan", the Hindi word for hostel. Thirteen of them – Krishna Bhawan, Vishwakarma Bhawan, Rana Pratap Bhawan, Bhagirath Bhawan, Ashok Bhawan, Gandhi Bhawan, Shankar Bhawan, Vyas Bhawan, Budh Bhawan, Ram Bhawan, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Bhawan, CV Raman Bhavan and Srinivasa Ramanujan Bhawan are for male students. There is a single hostel for female students called Meera Bhawan. The institute also has one more hostel for parents and guests[49] The hostels are named after saints, scientists, and historical and religious figures.

Every two hostels share a mess hall except Meera Bhawan and Sir C V RAMAN Bhawan which have their own mess halls. All dining areas are student-managed.[50] Students may also eat at a "Redi" (a small canteen near every hostel), Institute Canteen (IC), the All-Night Canteen (ANC) and the Student Activity Centre (SAC) cafeteria (Food King), LOOTERS . The ANC is also student-managed.[51] more over there is a small area inside campus called "Connaught" which has many restaurants, cafes, etc.[52] and has shops for general daily needs as well.

Vision 2020, Mission 2012Edit

In 2010 the institute launched a renewal project, "Vision 2020, Mission 2012,"[53] to identify and implement measures establishing BITS Pilani as one of India's top three research-led universities by 2015 and among the leading 25 technical universities in Asia by 2020. As a part of this initiative, Kumar Mangalam Birla visited the Pilani campus on 13 November 2011[citation needed] with pro-chancellor Shobhana Bhartia[citation needed] and other members of the board of governors. At this meeting, Birla announced a Rs. 600 crore fund[citation needed] for renovation and construction of new academic buildings and student hostels on the Pilani campus.[citation needed] The project was planned for completion in 2014.[54]

Goa campusEdit

Hyderabad campusEdit

Dubai campusEdit

Student lifeEdit

The Students' Union is the elected administrative body for the students. Satyansh Rai is the current union leader. Elections are supervised by a student commission. The student-run Corroboration and Review Committee handles financial transactions for the Students' Union. The Student Mess Council manages dining matters.


BITS Model United Nations Conference (BITSMUN) is one of the largest MUN conferences in the country. Organized annually in Pilani, BITSMUN attracts experienced and first time MUN participants from colleges and schools all over the globe. The conference was founded in 2007 as a grassroots project aimed at introducing Model UN to students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to participate in this experience. It has in the current past been expanding to an increasing number of colleges and schools from all parts of the world to encourage greater participation in an activity that brings together knowledge in international relations and interpersonal skills.[55]


BOSM (BITS-Pilani Open Sports Meet) is the annual sports competition at the Pilani campus. BITS-Pilani invites colleges throughout India to participate in events including carrom board, hockey, cricket, basketball, football, volleyball, track and field, badminton, tennis, table tennis, squash and weightlifting. Since its 2010 Silver Jubilee (25th) anniversary, BOSM has invited a team from Moratuwa University in Sri Lanka.[56]


APOGEE (A Professions Oriented Gathering over Educational Experiences) is an international annual technical festival at the Pilani campus.[57] Since its inception in 1983, APOGEE has hosted students and researchers from across the country. The guest lecture series of the fest, Think Again Conclave has received eminent speakers in the past which include A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Richard Stallman, Jimmy Wales, Kailash Satyarthi, Walter Lewin and A. S. Kiran Kumar.[58] Other events include the Paper Presentation Event, which is one of the oldest research paper presentation platforms in the country, and Project Presentation, which exhibits over 550 projects in various fields of science and engineering.


Techbazaar is a technical-innovation competition at BITS Pilani for talented inventors to showcase their ingenuity, using technology to solve problems in a commercially viable way and fostering technology-based entrepreneurship. The first TechBazaar was held on 19 August 2012 as a joint venture of Project Embryo and BITS Pilani, with the participation of engineering colleges including BITS, IIT and NIT.[citation needed]


BITS Spark programme was launched in 2012. The programme promotes entrepreneurship courses and workshops, offers mentorship, and provides angel funds.[59]


The institute has a three-tier academic structure.

First degreesEdit

BITS Pilani offers four-year integrated first-degree programs (so called because several courses, such as mathematics and science, are common to each degree) in engineering, technology and pharmacy, a Master of Arts program and Master of Science programs in science and technology.[60]

Advanced degreesEdit

BITS Pilani offers master's degrees in engineering, pharmacy, public health and business administration.[61] The Department of Management at BITS Pilani was established in 1971. Its objective is to improve management for engineers seeking to work in the emerging industrial world. BITS-Pilani has also started a 3-year Integrated Master of Engineering program in Computer Science with specialization in Information Security in their Hyderabad campus. This program targets Bachelor of Science students who have majored in Physics, Mathematics or both.

Off-campus programsEdit

BITS Pilani offers off-campus programs in which students receive work experience in industry. Enrollment has increased from 30 in 1979 to over 10,000 in 2005. More than 19,500 students were registered in off-campus work-integrated learning programs in 2008–09.[5] Work-related learning programs accommodate industry professionals who wish to pursue an advanced degree while remaining employed.

International projectsEdit

BITS Pilani is a partner in developing the JournalServer[62] open-access digital library, Project IPV6[63] and the MIT iCampus[64] initiative.


University and college rankings
General – international
QS (World) (2018)[65]801-1000
QS (BRICS) (2018)[66]109
QS (BRICS) (2019)[67]96
QS (Asia) (2018)[68]187
Times (BRICS) (2017)[69]196
Times (Asia) (2018)[70]201-250
General – India
NIRF (Overall) (2018)[71]19
NIRF (Universities) (2018)[72]17
Engineering – India
NIRF (2018)[73]17
India Today (2017)[74]4
Outlook India (2017)[75]5
The Week (2017)[76]7
Business/Management – India
Outlook India (2016)[77]16
Pharmacy – India
NIRF (2018)[78]5

In India, BITS was ranked 4th among engineering colleges by India Today in 2017,[74] 5th by Outlook India[75] and 7th by The Week.[76]

Internationally, BITS Pilani was ranked 801-1000 in the QS World University Rankings of 2018.[65] The same rankings ranked it 187 in Asia[68] and 109 among BRICS nations.[66] It was ranked 801-1000 in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2018,[79] 201-250 in Asia[70] and 196 among BRICS & Emerging Economies 2017.[69]

In India, BITS Pilani was ranked 19 overall in 2018 by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF),[71] 17 among universities,[72] 17 in the engineering ranking[73] and fifth in India in the pharmacy ranking.[78]

The Department of Management was ranked 16 among management schools in India by Outlook India's "Top 100 Management Schools" of 2016.[77]


The BITS Alumni Association is an international organisation with chapters throughout the world, connecting alumni in networking, social events and fundraising.[80]

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit