Uniformity keeps BITS campuses integrated
Dr VS Rao, Director of Bits Hyderabad campus talks about the institute and its edge over others Naresh Nunna Nestled in tranquil atmosphere...
Dr VS Rao, Director of Bits Hyderabad campus talks about the institute and its edge over others Naresh Nunna Nestled in tranquil atmosphere overlooking Shameerpet lake, the BITS Pilani Hyderabad campus, 22 km from Secunderabad and spread over 200 acres, admits 700 students annually into the first degree, higher degree and doctoral programmes. The residential campus houses 3,000 students and 150 faculty members. With Birla Institute of Technology & Science Admission Test (BITSAT 2013) round the corner - from May 14 to June 01 � Young Hans meets Dr V Sambasiva Rao, Director of Bits Pilani, to find out more about what the campus offers for students. How does BITS Pilani compare with Indian Institute of Technology and National Institute of Technology? BITS Pilani blends academic and industrial experience in the form of Practice School (PS). Under PS, every student spends about seven-and-a-half months working in projects in industries under the supervision of resident Bits faculty and identified professional experts from the organisation. Thus, we have an edge over them (IITs and NITs) in this aspect of making our students apply their knowledge. Who pays for the internship and bears the expenses? The institute looks after the internship placements. Each student gets stipend and the traveling expenses are borne by the companies. Is your Hyderabad campus on par with Bits Pilani, the mother campus? Bits Pilani- Rajasthan, Dubai, Goa and Hyderabad campuses are different from one another only in topographical terms; but technically they are one, thanks to BITSConnect 2.0. Launched in January 2013, BITSConnect 2.0 is a multi-million-dollar cross-campus technology initiative and a model of multi-campus education in India. The scheme comprises Immersive Telepresence, high-definition video conferencing and live streaming technologies that transforms the learning experience at BITS by connecting all its campuses. It is meant to erase the geographical distances between the campuses, bridging the distance across global knowledge centres, while facilitating collaboration among our faculty, students, industry partners, and alumni, for education, research, and mentorship. Shortage of good faculty is an acute problem everywhere. How does your campus tackle this problem? We hire part-time faculty, visiting professors and outsource staff positions to the industry for a particular course for a month or a semester, depending upon faculty member's availability. Besides BITSConnect 2.0 enabled- capture, transform, share (CTS) video platform facilitates professors to record lectures and make it available for replay, which provides access to key content from any location any time, increasing value and reach. What is the status of Research and Entrepreneurial programmes in this campus? I am keen on opening Research and Entrepreneurial Park in BITS Pilani Hyderabad campus, and the faculty will also benefit from extra salary from the companies in providing support to their research projects. I am also thinking of providing every faculty the academic freedom to do a research of their own interest in the respective course, which will be formally accepted by his/her peers and vice versa. The creativity of student and faculty can be harnessed to support the product based research for various companies. Where does it stand in collaboration with foreign universities? York University in Canada, George Mason University, Iowa State University and Kansas State University are a few foreign universities with which BITS Pilani collaborates. Alliance with Indian School of Business (ISB) is about to be worked out. What are the new courses coming up soon? BITS Pilani will introduce Integrated Masters (ME) in Computer Science with specialisation in Information Security from first semester 2013-14. It is a three-year Integrated Higher Degree Programme for B Sc Graduates and notification was released recently in March. ME in Bioprocess engineering also would be from the coming academic year (July 2013) and efforts are also on to launch a programme in business analytics in due course.