Birla Institute of Technology and Science

This article is about the institute in Pilani. For the similarly named institute in Ranchi, see Birla Institute of Technology.
Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani
बिरला प्रौद्योगिकी एवं विज्ञान संस्थान पिलानी
Motto ज्ञानं परमं बलम्
(jñānaṁ paramaṁ balam)
Motto in English
Knowledge is Power Supreme
Type Deemed to be University
Established 1964 [1]
Chancellor K.M. Birla[2]
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Souvik Bhattacharyya [2]
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 2,698 annually[5]
Postgraduates 1897 annually[5]
Location Pilani, India
Affiliations ACU,[6] UGC[7] NAAC,[8] PCI,[9] AIU[10]

Birla Institute of Technology & Science (shortened BITS or BITS Pilani) is an Indian institute of higher education and a deemed university under Section 3 of the UGC Act 1956.[11] The university has 15 academic departments, and focuses primarily on undergraduate education in engineering and the sciences and on its management programme. It is widely known as the best private engineering institute and stands among the top Engineering and B-schools of India.

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 has established centres at Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai.

BITS administers the all-India computerised competitive entrance examination, BITSAT (BITS Admission Test),[12][13] Admission is merit-based, as assessed by the BITSAT examination.[14][15] The fully residential institute is privately supported.[16]



Large buildings surrounding green quadrangle
Aerial view, BITS Pilani (1978)
Aerial Image of the Pilani campus with the newly inaugurated Rotunda taken by RC club, 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.[17]

Reacting to criticism about the project, 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.[18]

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.

Low, gold-colored building seen from green space
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.[18]

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.[19]

The acceptance rate of BITS Pilani is 1.47% based on the data of BITSAT 2012.[20]

Multi-campus expansion

Campuses Within India: Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad

In 1999, enrollment expanded from 2,500 to 4,000[21] 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.[22] The BITS Pilani Hyderabad campus opened in 2008; the school also has a virtual university[23] and an extension center in Bangalore.[24]

Chancellor and academic head

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.[21] He was followed by his son, Krishna Kumar Birla, who was chancellor until his death in 2008.[25] Currently, Kumar Mangalam Birla is chancellor and Shobhana Bhartia is pro-chancellor.[2]

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.[26] 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.[27] He was succeeded by BITS directors C.R. Mitra (1969–1989)[28] and S. Venkateswaran (1989–2006). With the advent of multiple campuses the overall head was known as "vice-chancellor"; "director" denoted the head of a campus. Prof. L.K. Maheshwari became the first 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.[29]


Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad campuses

Since 2005 admission to BITS has been offered based on student performance on the all-India Entrance Examination, the BITS Admission Test (BITSAT). The test, for which applications are submitted in December, is conducted online in May and June in cities all over India.[12][13] The exam tests the candidate's knowledge, reasoning and analytical abilities in English, physics, chemistry, mathematics and logical reasoning, and is based on higher secondary curricula in India and abroad. To be eligible for admission, students are required to obtain a minimum average grade of 75 percent 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.[30] BITSAT differs from the conventional written examination; the online exam is given at over 20 locations throughout India.[31]

Dubai campus

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.[32]

Pilani campus

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.[33] The campus has 11,245 square metres (121,040 sq ft) of classrooms and 7,069 square metres (76,090 sq ft) of laboratories.

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).[34] The Pilani campus has India's first technological museum, the Birla Museum. Built in 1954, it showcases technological achievements.[35][36] BITS has a 2,535-square-metre (27,290 sq ft) auditorium decorated with paintings by students from the department of art and decoration.[33]

Residential and dining facilities

Two-story building around quadrangle, with two large trees
Student hostel on foggy winter morning

The institute has eleven hostels for men and one for women.[37] The hostels are named after saints, historical and religious figures. Every two men's hostels share a dining area, and there is a separate dining area for the women's hostel. All dining areas are student-managed.[38] Students may also dine at the Institute Canteen (IC), the All-Night Canteen (ANC) and the Student Activity Centre (SAC) cafeteria (Food King). The ANC is also student-managed.[39]

Vision 2020, Mission 2012

In 2010 the institute launched a renewal project, "Vision 2020, Mission 2012,"[40] 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 with pro-chancellor Shobhana Bhartia and other members of the board of governors. At this meeting, Birla announced a Rs. 600 crore fund for renovation and construction of new academic buildings and student hostels on the Pilani campus. The project was planned for completion in 2014.[41]

Student life

The Students' Union is the elected administrative body for students. 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 issues.


BITS Model United Nations Conference (BITSMUN) is one of the largest MUN conferences of its kind in the Indian Subcontinent. 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.[42]


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.[43][44]


Interface is the institute's management festival, held each February since 1977. The event has more than 1,000 participants in management games, case studies, paper presentations, online events and guest lectures.


APOGEE (A Professions Oriented Gathering over Educational Experience) is the annual technical festival, held in March. The event has more than 2,000 participants in workshops, project displays, paper presentations, online events and guest lectures.[45] APOGEE 2013, the 31st at BITS-Pilani, was held 15–19 March 2013. APOGEE is an ISO 9001:2000-certified technical festival.


Oasis is a cultural festival conducted annually since 1971 by the students of Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in Pilani, India. Organised one week prior to Diwali, the festival attracts more than 200 colleges from across the country.[46] Usually held in October, it attracts thousands of outside participants. Events include music, drama, dance, stage and fashion shows and treasure hunts. Professional shows involve singers and bands. Indian singers and bands (including Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy,[47] KK,[48] Kailash Kher, Vishal Shekhar, Neeraj Shridhar, Vir Das, Motherjane, Lounge Piranha, Ayushmann Khurrana, the Rainbow Bridge, Bhayanak Maut, Thermal and a Quarter and Lucky Ali) have performed during Oasis; in 2011, the British band Good Shoes appeared.


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.


Rocktaves is an annual semi professional music fest, held every year in BITS, Pilani during its annual cultural fest Oasis, it has served as a platform for upcoming Indian bands, launching many bands to fame. Bands like Parikrama, Indian Ocean, Prestorika and Euphoria have risen to fame after winning Rocktaves. In 2008, Lounge Piranha, a rock band from Bangalore promoted their new album during Rocktaves.


BITS Spark programme was launched in 2012. The programme promotes entrepreneurship courses and workshops, offers mentorship, and provides angel funds.[49]


The institute has a three-tier academic structure.

First degrees

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. The programs are divided into three groups:[50]

Group A
Group B
Discontinued Programs

Advanced degrees

BITS Pilani offers master's degrees in engineering, pharmacy, public health and business administration.[51] 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 programs

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 projects

BITS Pilani is a partner in developing the JournalServer[52] open-access digital library, Project IPV6[53] and the MIT iCampus[54] initiative.

Reputation and Rankings

University and college rankings
General – India
Careers360[55] 2
Engineering – India
NIRF[56][57] 5
India Today[58] 6
Outlook India[59] 8
Dataquest[60] 1
Private colleges:
Mint[61] 1
Electronics For You[62] 1
Business – India

Rankings for BITS Pilani are given for all its Campuses together(Since 2001)

A 2008 study by the Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA) found that BITS Pilani, IISc and the top five IITs accounted for 70–75 percent of Indian semiconductor research.[63][64]

Year India Today (since 1998) Outlook (since 2005) Asiaweek (2000) Mint / Hindustan Times (2008–2010) Dataquest T-Schools (since 2005) Electronics For You (2009–2011)
2005 Did not participate[74]       15[75]  
2006 Did not participate 6[76]     9[77]  
2007 Did not participate 6[78]     11[79]  
2008 Did not participate 7[80]   6[81] Did not participate[82]  
2009 7[83] 6[84]   1 Private Engineering College[61] 8[85] 5[86][87]
2010 7[88] 7[89]   1 Private Engineering College[90] 9[91] 5[92]
2011 6[93] 8[59]     6[60] 1 Private Engineering College[62]
2012 5[58] 7[59]     11[94]  
2013 6[95] Not Yet Declared     Not Yet Declared  
2014 6[96] Not Yet Declared     Not Yet Declared  
2015 6[97] No.1     No. 1 for Placement  


Main article: List of BITS alumni

The BITS Alumni Association is an international organisation with chapters throughout the world, connecting alumni in networking, social events and fundraising.[98]


Gallery: Pilani campus

See also


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  6. Association of Commonwealth Universities. "Institutions affiliated to ACU". Retrieved 21 October 2009.
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  40. |url =
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  98. "BITS Alumni Association".

External links

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Coordinates: 28°21′49.96″N 75°35′13.26″E / 28.3638778°N 75.5870167°E / 28.3638778; 75.5870167

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