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Home >> State Detail >> University List >> Birla Institute of Technology and Science
Birla Institute of Technology and Science
Birla Institute of Technology and Science (also referred to as BITS Pilani) is a private university located in Pilani, Rajasthan, India. BITS Pilani consists of 15 academic departments with a focus on education in engineering and the sciences.

The institute was established in its present form in 1964 with a vision to realize Jawaharlal Nehru’s project of nation-building with its emphasis on "science, technology and modernization" . At that time, its transformation from a regional engineering college to a national university was backed by the Ford Foundation and G.D.Birla. MIT provided the technical assistance that was required for this transformation.

The institute has developed and administers the all-India computerized entrance test BITSAT (BITS Admission Test), which is the first of its kind in India. Acceptance rate in BITS is very low, less than 2.08% in 2007, making it one of the most selective universities in India. The admission is on the basis of merit (as assessed by the BITSAT Examination) and not through any kind of reservation. The institute is privately supported and fully residential.
The institute has strong linkages with industry, as can be seen by its off-campus Work Integrated Learning Program(WILP) which enrolled 19,000 students from corporate enterprises in 2009. Practical experience in the industry is in the curriculum as a "Practice School" program, where students work with companies throughout India.

BITS has campuses in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (BITS, Pilani-Dubai),Goa, India (BITS-Pilani Goa), Hyderabad, India (BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus) and an extension center in Bangalore, India. Although the campuses are autonomous for the most part[citation needed], the right to grant degrees rests with the main campus. It is the first Indian institution to set up a campus outside India.



The institute can trace its origins to 1901, when Shiv Narainji Birla started a 'Patshala' (traditional Indian School) in Pilani with one teacher for educating his grandsons, GD Birla and RD Birla. In 1925-1929 the 'Patshala' became a High School. In 1929, the institute was founded by Ghanshyam Das Birla as an intermediate college. In 1943-1947, the Birla Education Trust was founded and the Intermediate College was converted into a Degree college, and later on started postgraduate courses.

During World War II, the government of India established a technical training center at Pilani, Rajasthan to train technicians for defence services and industry. In 1946, it was converted into the Birla Engineering College with degree programmes in electrical and mechanical engineering.[30] The Masters programme in Electronics began in 1955.[31] In the 1950s, the first Indian Institute of Technology was set up by the Indian Government to provide advanced engineering and scientific manpower to the Indian economy. Realizing that he needed better institutions to train highly-skilled engineers for manning his own companies, and others in the Indian economy, Ghanshyam Das Birla decided that his companies, and his country, needed a private IIT, and that MIT alone should provide the blueprint for the institute and train its faculty For this purpose he wrote to James Killian, the President of MIT at the time, asking for his support in the project. He offered a list of advisors, headed by the former MIT alumnus Thomas Drew, who was then at Columbia University. MIT and the Ford Foundation agreed to help with the project. The Ford Foundation sent Drew and an MIT colleague back to India in the spring of 1963 to draw up detailed plans for

"transforming a lackluster complex of colleges supported by the Birla Education Trust, including the Birla Engineering College, into a worthy competitor of the IIT's." On August 1965, the Foundation approved a two-year, $1.45 million grant to MIT for developing BITS, with the expectation of a renewal as the project continued. Reacting to criticism about the project, Drew, now the head of the MIT advisory board, said: I do not believe [Birla] supposes or wants an American MIT set down in India. In my judgment to attempt to develop such 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

In 1964, under the direction of the MIT advisory board, the Birla Colleges of Arts, Commerce, Engineering, Pharmacy and Science were merged to form the Birla Institute of Technology and Science. The board provided direction in developing a curriculum, selecting equipment, upgrading the library, and recruiting and training Indian faculty. After Thomas Drew reached mandatory retirement age, MIT electrical engineer David White was sent to head the committee for two years. To hasten the pace of reforms, he convinced Birla to hire C. R. Mitra, former head of Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, as the new Director of the institute. It was Mitra who pushed for a "practice school" internship program far more ambitious than anything MIT had done, as a requirement for all faculty and students. This Practice School Program is still a requirement for students in BITS.

According to Robert Kargon and Stuart Leslie: BITS offered an opportunity [to the Ford Foundation and MIT] to build a leading technological university in India responsive to India’s goals, to produce practicing 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.

BITS Pilani became a Deemed University established vide Sec. 3 of the UGC Act, 1956 under notification No. F.12-23/63.U-2 of June 18, 1964.

Clock tower, BITS Pilani, present

Expansion into multiple campuses

In 1999, student capacity was expanded from 2500 to 4000. New campuses were established in Dubai (2000) and Goa, India (2004). In 2006, BITS Pilani acquired 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land from the Andhra Pradesh government through the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority for opening up a new campus. The land is located in Jawaharnagar, Shammerpet Mandal in Rangareddy district.The BITS Pilani Hyderabad, India campus started functioning in 2008. BITS runs a virtual university and an extension center in Bangalore[

Chancellor and Academic Head

BITS Pilani has a tradition of long-serving Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors. Its founder G.D. Birla was the Chancellor from the college's inception until his demise in 1983. He was followed by his son Krishna Kumar Birla, who was the Chancellor until his demise in 2008.[36] Currently, Kumar Mangalam Birla is the Chancellor and Shobhana
Bhartia is the Pro-Chancellor. The first academic head of the institution was V. Lakshminarayanan, who served in this capacity from 1946 to 1969.[37] He was succeeded by BITS Directors C.R. Mitra (1969–1989) and S. Venkateswaran (1989–2006). With the opening of multiple campuses,the overall head came to be known as 'Vice Chancellor', while 'Director' denoted the head of a campus. L.K. Maheshwari became the first Vice Chancellor in 2006, while Bijendra Nath Jain is the current Vice Chancellor and fifth academic head of the institute since its inception.


Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad Campuses

Since 2005, admission to BITS campuses has been offered to students based on their performance in the all-India Entrance Examination, called BITS Admission Test (BITSAT). The test, exclusive to the BITS Pilani University, is conducted online and held in May and June in cities all over India. The exam tests the candidate's knowledge, reasoning and analytical abilities in English, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Logical reasoning, and is based on the higher secondary curriculum in India and abroad. To be eligible for admissions, prospective students are required to obtain a minimum aggregate of 80% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (subject to a minimum of 60% in each of these three subjects) in their higher secondary examination. Toppers of higher secondary examinations of each single board are exempted from taking BITSAT test and are considered for direct admission. BITSAT differs from the conventional written examination as it is an online exam held at more than 20 places all over India.

Dubai Campus

Admission to Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani – Dubai is based on the marks secured on the 12th standard qualifying exam and no other entrance test. Though BITS Pilani-Dubai campus was set up to serve the educational requirements of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, admissions to the college are open to all nationalities.

Saraswati Temple, BITS Pilani

Pilani Campus

Pilani is located 220 km west of Delhi and 217 km north of Jaipur; the BITS campus is located to the south of the bus stand of Pilani. The total area of the campus (which includes the Birla Education Trust) is over 4 square kilometres (990 acres), but the developed area is 0.2 square kilometres (49 acres) of which 60769 m2 is used for the BITS University building. The campus has class rooms (area 11245 M2) and laboratories (area 7069 M2).

BITS has a temple dedicated to the goddess Saraswati, called Sharda Peeth. It was built by G D Birla. The white marble temple is built on a 7 feet (2.1 m) high foundation, with 70 pillars for support and spread across an area of 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2). Pilani Campus has India's first technological museum called Birla Museum. Built in 1954, it exhibits the accomplishments of technology.

BITS has a 2535 m² auditorium decorated with paintings by students.

Residential and dining facilities

The institute has 11 hostels for boys and one hostel for girls. The hostels are named for historical figures, religious figures and saints. Every two boys' hostel share a common mess. There is a separate mess for the girl's hostel. All these messes are fully managed by students.[48] Apart from the mess, students may eat at the institute canteen (IC), the All Night Canteen (ANC), and the Students Activity Centre Cafeteria. ANC is also managed by students.

Student life

Student clubs and departments include:

• Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and Inspired Karters Racing Provides a platform for the automotive enthusiasts to get some hands-on experience about the know-hows of the world of automobiles.
• Hindi Drama Club (HDC) and English Drama Club (EDC) perform stage and street plays during the semester and during student festivals.
• Hindi Press Club (HPC) and English Press Club (EPC) publishes newsletters and annual college magazine, describing activities happening on campus.
• English Language Activities Society (ELAS) and Hindi Activities Society (HAS) conduct quizzing and other literary events.
• Informalz organizes and conducts various events like Treasure Hunt, Mister & Miss Oasis, Bulb, Wordstock, quizzes and other fun events that anyone can participate in, during all the three festivals of BITS Pilani.
• Bitsmun organizes a model united nations every year which is supposedly the largest of its kind in India[citation needed].
• Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) is a entrepreneurship cell at BITS Pilani with the aim of spreading the spirit of entrepreneurship on campus.
• Wall Street Club (WSC) India`s first undergraduate investment club focusing on instilling an understanding of business ecosystem amongst engineering students.
• Creative Activities Club (CrAC) conducts art exhibitions and competitions
• Jhankar organises musical concerts, professional shows and various other events during all three festivals.
• Photography Club conducts workshops and training sessions in photography.
• Ragamalika is a Classical Dance & Music Club which organizes Hindustani Classical And Carnatic Music programmes. Main events of the year being "Nritya Ranjini" and "Sangamam". Details available on the official blog.
• The Mime Club, performs live sketch shows twice a year, during OASIS and APOGEE and also organizes competitions during the festivals
• Music Club performs on 'music nights' and in events like Fusion and Tarang in OASIS.
• Dance Club organizes dance workshops and performs in cultural events in APOGEE and OASIS.
• The Department of Art and Decoration, often called 'Art n Dee' is responsible for the panels that adorn the auditorium, the stage backdrops and the theme-depicting structure for the cultural event OASIS. It manages the inventory for the other clubs working for OASIS.
• The Department of Planning and Publicity manages the publicity and inventory for the educational fest APOGEE.
• The Department of Music(Gurukul).Its main task is to perform on national holidays, important institute functions and in an independent Music Concert. Also besides these, members learn tabla,classical singing, harmonium and synthesizer under guidance of Anil Rai - HOD of Music dept BITS Pilani.

The Students' Union (SU) is the main administrative body for students and consists of elected post holders. The elections are overseen by the Election Commission, which also is a student body. The CRAC (Constitution Review and Amendment Committee) and the CRC (Corroboration and Review Committee) are two other parts of this system of administration for the students, by the students. The Student Mess Council carries out mess related management.


Conquest is the annual entrepreneurship conclave of BITS Pilani, Pilani campus, featuring business plan competitions. The two-day finale, held in August, features presentations from the participants and speaker sessions from entrepreneurs and business leaders. The Out Of Box conference is slated to be a part of the 2011 edition of Conquest.

BITS Open Sports Meet

BOSM or BITS Open Sports Meet is the annual sports competitive event of BITS Pilani, Pilani campus. The college invites colleges from all over the country to participate in events such as hockey, cricket, basketball, football, volleyball, track/field events, badminton, tennis, table-tennis, squash, and weight-lifting.


INTERFACE( The management guru) is the annual Management festival of the institute,held in february.It is being celebrated from 1977.The event has more than 1000 participants in management games,case studies,paper presentations,online events and guest lectures.


APOGEE (A Professions Oriented Gathering over Educational Experience) is the annual college technical festival, held in March. The event has more than 1000 participants in kernel events, workshops, project displays, paper presentation, online events and guest lectures.


Oasis is the annual cultural festival held at BITS Pilani, Pilani campus. This is usually organised in October and draws more than 1500 external participants. Oasis events include music, drama, dance, stage shows, fashion and treasure hunts. Professional shows involve singers and bands. Indian singers and bands including the likes of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy,[64] K K, Vishal Shekhar, Motherjane, The Rainbow Bridge, Bhayanak Maut, and Lucky Ali have performed in professional shows during Oasis.


The institute has a three-tier academic structure.

Integrated First Degree

BITS Pilani offers four year Integrated First Degree programmes in Bachelor of Engineering (B.E(Hons)), Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm(Hons.)), Master of Science (M.Sc(Hons.)), Master of Science (M.Sc(Technology)), and Master of Arts (M.A(Hons.)). The programmes offered with the degrees are classified into groups A, B and C.

Group A:

• Chemical Engineering
• Civil Engineering
• Electrical and Electronics Engineering
• Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering
• Mechanical Engineering
• Pharmacy
• Computer Science
• Manufacturing Engineering
• Electronics and Communication Engineering (Hyderabad campus only)

Group B:

• Biological Sciences
• Chemistry
• Economics
• Mathematics
• Physics.

Group C:

• Information Systems
• General Studies
• Engineering Technology
• Finance

These courses are called Integrated First Degree courses because several courses such as Mathematics and Sciences are common to each degree. BITS Pilani does not offer Bachelor of Science (B.Sc), or Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degrees.

Higher Degree

BITS Pilani offers higher degree programmes such as Master of Engineering (M.E.), Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm), Master of Public Health, and (M.P.H) Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A).

M.B.A The Department of Management at BITS, Pilani was established in the year 1971. The program is successfully being offered for over three decades. The objective of this program is to augment the quality of the management prowess amongst the elite engineers who aspire to outshine in the challenging arena of the emerging Industrial world.

Off-campus programmes

BITS Pilani offers off-campus programmes, in which a student receives work experience in industry. The enrolment has grown over the years from 30 in 1979 to over 10000 students in 2005. More than 19000 students were registered for the off-campus work-integrated learning programmes during 2008-09. Work related learning programmes also accommodate industry professionals who wish to pursue their PhD whilst being employed.

International project

BITS Pilani is a key partner in international initiatives like the development of JournalServer open-access digital library, the Project IPV6, MIT iCampus initiative, etc.

Reputation and rankings

• A 'Ranking of Indian engineering and technological institutes for their research performance during 1999–2008' has been published in the journal 'Current Science'. It analysed publication data from the SCOPUS database during 1999-2008 to come up with the rankings. BITS Pilani was ranked No. 4 in terms of mean citation rate (behind IISc Bangalore, IIT Kanpur, and UICT Mumbai), No. 15 in terms of total number of papers published, No. 2 in share of papers resulting from international collaboration (behind IIT Kanpur), and No. 12 in terms of a complex performance index described in that journal article.

• A study by the Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA) in 2008 revealed that BITS Pilani along with IISc and top 5 IITs accounted for 70-75% of semiconductor research in India.

• According to the Asiaweek magazine's rankings of Science and Technology schools in the Asia-Pacific region BITS Pilani, Pilani campus was in the top 20[73] in Asia and Top 5, in the year 2000 in terms of Student Selectivity. (UNESCO Science Report 2005(ISBN 92-3-103967-9) makes use of these rankings).

• Annual rankings of Engineering colleges in India have been published by India Today magazine since 1997. BITS Pilani was consistently ranked in the Top 5 (1997–2004). BITS opted out of the rankings in 2005-2008 because of a pending court case between BITS and India Today. In 2009, the institute rejoined the rankings, and was ranked 7th in the list of top engineering colleges in India and it was also ranked as the best privately run engineering college in India.

• Asiaweek magazine and Financial Times ranked BITS Pilani's MBA program 30th best full-time MBA program in Asia and the 4th best Distance Learning MBA program in Asia [80] in the year 2000. • Business Today lists the university in its top 20 Wired Organisations of Asia • Government of India's National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) rated BITS as a five star Institution for the period ending February 7, 2007. BITS has scored 82.55 out of 100, higher than comparable public universities (with a five star rating and a focus on science and technology) such as IIT Delhi(79.5), IIT Bombay (79.6), IIT Kanpur (81.2), Anna University (75.7), Bangalore University (77.05), Jadavpur University (77.35), Mumbai University (75.05), Pune University (78.55) and Roorkee University / IIT Roorkee (79.2).

• BITS Pilani (Pilani, Goa and Dubai campus) has been accredited by NAAC with a CGPA of 3.71 out of 4 with an A grade for the period 1 April 2007 to 8 March 2009. This is the combined grading of three campuses of BITS Pilani at Pilani, Dubai and Goa, and valid for 5 years up to 2014.

• The Washington Accord recognises degrees from BITS Pilani and the IITs to be equivalent to the other institutions in the accord

• Outlook - C fore survey[86] has ranked the university's business program in the top 20 Business programs in India in 2005.

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