“UG courses are our flagship programme and our aim always has been to go for expansion but is also limited by so many constraints such as infrastructure. But our ultimate aim is to go to 1,040 students by 2018,” said BITS Pilani Director Ashoke Kumar Sarkar.
BITS Pilani in Rajasthan is aiming to increase the student intake to 1040 for its flagship undergraduate programme in the next two years and is presently renovating its infrastructure to set the ground for it.
Aim is to go 1040 students by 2018
- “UG courses are our flagship programme and our aim always has been to go for expansion but is also limited by so many constraints such as infrastructure. But our ultimate aim is to go to 1,040 students by 2018,” said BITS Pilani Director Ashoke Kumar Sarkar
- At present, the Pilani campus of the premier institute takes 910 students for the undergraduate programme
- “Ours is a completely residential university and therefore the first requirement we realised was to upgrade the infrastructure of the campus. So we are giving it a massive overhaul,” Sarkar said
Steps taken to improve BITS Pilani:
Here is what the director has to say on the changes made in accordance with several issues:
To improve infrastructure:
- “We have already created new classrooms in front of the main administration block which have been built with innovation on a sunken level by digging out the earth, so that the roof level coincides with the ground level”
- “For faculty members, we are building two more blocks. We are also renovating the recreational facility which should be ready by September,” he said
- On campus infrastructure upgrade, he further said that we are renovating faculty housing facilities built 60-70 years ago. Besides, the old mess for Ram and Buddha Hostels has been demolished and a new one is coming up.”
- “Also, PhD hostels for candidates who are married are coming up as we are targeting more PhD students,” he said
- The director said that while the PhD programmes are being continuously redefined and targets are being reached, only 280 students are enrolled against the target of 350 for want of quality students in the Master’s degree programme.
- “We were the first to open an overseas campus in 2000 in Dubai. And, in 2004, we opened Goa campus followed by Hyderabad in 2008. So, people thought in 2012 we will be having another one. But, we thought of giving it a pause,” he said
- “We are now sort of focusing on improving infrastructure on Pilani campus first and then think of further expansion. But that decision is anyway taken by the Birlas,” he said
Tie-ups with other institutes:
- Sarkar said BITS Pilani has also tied up with several universities for research and other academic collaborations
- “We have signed an MoU with Tel Aviv University (TAU) on research collaboration, faculty exchange and in November, students are going to have a workshop on food security in Pilani,” he said
- The director said that besides TAU, BITS Pilani has also developed a close relationship with Trinity College in Dublin, Ben-Gurion University in Israel, and also with George Mason University in the US
- “Our collaboration with the university in Israel is on desert development research area and Pilani being a desert area, we think this partnership is significant,” Sarkar said
‘We need more help from the nation’ -VC
- Vice Chancellor Souvik Bhattacharyyaa, while describing the institute as capable of standing on its own feet, said, it would appreciate a little more “proactive” help from the government
- “We are not expecting a block grant, but I say it with humility, we need more help from the nation. Maybe in form of a centre of excellence or some fellowships. We have done well in last 10 years and going to do better, but can the government not contribute to this growth, especially in research and development areas,” he said.
Last month at its convocation, 1,147 students were given degrees out of which 822 were from first degrees, 206 dual degrees, 268 higher degrees, and 57 from PhD programmes.
About BITS Pilani:
- Started as a Pathsala in 1901 by the Birlas, it has grown in size since it came into being in 1964 with G D Birla as BITS Pilani’s Founder Chairman
- The Pilani campus in Jhunjhunu district is spread over 320 acres. It also has a Technology Business Incubator (TBI) which was set up almost a decade ago to support budding entrepreneurs on the campus
- It has also set up a Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership for entrepreneurship development
- Besides its main campus in Pilani, the institution has centres in Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai.