Friday, August 03, 2007

Pilani, Goa or Hyderabad?

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, one of India's premier technical universities is adding new campuses. They have three campuses in India now: Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad.

Here's a question: If you had to put your money on one of these campuses, which one would it be? I would definitely go with Hyderabad. The city has a vast establishment of premier central government research establishments like Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) etc etc. It is surprising there is no IIT (yet) in Hyderabad to leverage the enormous research potential of the city.

BITS should the seize the moment to collaborate and build effective research programs in such disciplines which have been fairly unconventional for India's academic establishment.

Which campus should students go for? To answer this question it helps to understand Pilani's geography. Pilani is well isolated from urban civilization with nearest cities Delhi and Jaipur at a distance of 200kms, making it an Archipelago. Generations of Pilani-BITSians pass on their wisdom of entertaining themselves to the younger ones making Pilani a unique cultural experience. But this has come at a cost. An arduous and bumpy road trip is not very appealing to collaborators, researchers, recruiters etc etc. Hyderabad's location advantage scores heavily over Pilani's geographical isolation. Hyderabad campus can turn out to be very competitive with Pilani campus over the years. What about Goa ? Well, a party school with a beach in 10 blocks? India's hard-working and aspiring students may pass on that.

1 comment:

Akash said...

"What about Goa ? Well, a party school with a beach in 10 blocks? India's hard-working and aspiring students may pass on that."

Very disappointing to see that a BITSian (Who is so senior) would write such a comment about another BITS campus and it's students without a single shred of truth involved. Very disappointing.