BITS came into being with the merger of Birla College of Arts, Birla College
of Engineering and the Birla College of Science, Commerce and Engineering in
1964. In its early years BITS had collaborated with Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) and it is by the virtue of this collaboration that BITS still
retains that flavor of the American education system.
BITS Pilani, unlike other institutions, does not conduct an entrance
examination but offers admission on the marks obtained in the 10+2 examination.
The marks obtained are normalized and the merit list then created. "This
does not put extra burden on the applicants to prepare for an entrance and it
has worked well for us for the last 30 years," says Dr LK Maheshwari,
director, BITS Pilani.
Apart from the academic rigor, BITS Pilani places an unmatched emphasis on
live projects. Every student has to spend two months after the second and the
entire seventh or the eighth semester in an organization working on a live
project. A faculty member is also deputed to guide and work on the project
onsite. The list of companies or Practice Schools, as they are known as in
campus lingo, is long and includes companies like Cognizant,, Honeywell, HP
Labs, i-flex, Motorola, Intel, Sun and Wipro. "The projects are allocated
to students on merit and other considerations that are specified from to
time," says Prof. VS Rao, deputy director and dean (Practice School
Strong Industry Interface
Apart from the Practice Schools, the faculty and students of BITS Pilani
work with the industry on a number of research projects of mutual importance.
For instance, BITS houses the IBM Laboratory for Visual Programming Technologies
as a wind of its Center for Software Development. The IPv6@BITS project received
a lot of interest and acclaim, and made BITS the first connected IPv6
internetwork of India. BITS Pilani now has eleven international IPv6 tunnels
running to Canada, Singapore, Korea and China.
The institute has also upgraded the facilities of its VLSI design lab. It
also has the Cisco BITS Advanced Networking lab for research in the areas of VPN
Barring the technology at BITS, everything else at the sprawling campus
reflects the philosophy of the institute, which is to keep things functional and
simple. Whether it is the furniture or the design of the campus. For instance
the administration block built in 1948 is still big enough to allow smooth
functioning of the institute even though it has grown five-fold since then.
The technology, however, is state-of-the-art, including BITS Connect, their
network which was funded totally by BITS alumni. The institute ensures that the
students get a hang of the latest. Students can opt for technology-specific
certifications but only in the evening. BITSians therefore have no problem
during placement time. Infosys alone picked up as many as 200 students from
campus last year and the average salary for a BTech graduate was Rs 2.75 lakh
per annum and while the highest went up to Rs 11 lakh per annum.