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News & Press: Dec 2011

Launching Bridges to the Future

Monday, December 12, 2011   (0 Comments)
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BITSAA Alumni Communication








Dear BITSian,

History is being created among BITS alumni. Globally, BITSians are coming together in unprecedented numbers to better BITS, our network and our community, and this reminds us of John Kennedy’s inspirational words, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

BITSians have long worked together to better BITS through local chapters, well before BITSAA International was formally registered. Setting up BITSAA International as a non-profit organization gave momentum and structure to this unconnected network so much so that, it is one of the biggest and most active alumni associations in the world. For the first time in BITS' history, a connected GLOBAL BITS Alumni Association is coming together, enabled by social and technological factors:

1. The Internet has enabled individual batches to come together and continue to enjoy a different flavor of the kinship we enjoyed while on campus

2. The desire, among alumni, to contribute to BITS continues to grow, especially among the older batches. We heard this loud and clear at the first ever BITS Global Meet that was held in New Delhi in January 2011.

3. The current BITS administration led by the Vice Chancellor and the campus Directors, who are very forward thinking in this matter and are our enabling partners in this journey.

The gathering of global alumni under one unified association has been a long time coming for BITS. Today we are dreaming big.That one day in the near future, BITS alumni are able to make a sustaining contribution to the continued success of BITS and BITSians worldwide. BITS administration is also taking bold moves, as is evident from the announcement of project "Parivartan” by the Chancellor of BITS on November 13, about the growth plan of BITS and the modernization of the Pilani campus. In Alignment, we are kicking off the "Bridges to the Future” fundraising campaign. We have set modest goals:

1.Raise $1,000,000 in this fundraising drive.

2.100% participation - every alumnus gives something; no amount is too small.

3. Culture of Annual giving - so that an alumni endowment can be set up and grown.

You can donate to the General Fund or to any of the named causes listed as under. All contributions are 100% tax deductible in India and in the USA.


Bridges to the Future Projects

Our website will always contain the details of all the projects that BITSAA will work on. Remember to bookmark this page! A short summary of the projects we hope to undertake and their scope follows.

Faculty Enrichment:

1.Young Faculty Excellence Award- This award recognizes a BITS faculty from one of the four campuses for excellence in inspiring and engaging teaching that stimulates discovery and inquiry, in research and innovative projects, and in their professional achievements and commitment towards BITS. It is an annual award which will be presented to the selected faculty member towards the end of the second semester every year.The first such award was instituted with a generous grant by Kris Ramachandran ('67, Pilani) and comprises of a rolling plaque, a citation, and a cash award of INR 100,000 (PROJECT ID: FE001)

2.Endowed Chairs - A one-time endowment of Rs. 44,00,000 will endow a named chair (donor to decide the name) for a period of 20 years. It can be done by an individual donor, an entire batch or even on behalf of your company. Chancellor Kumar Manglam Birla has kick started this program by creating 7 Endowed Chairs funded by the Birla family. A detailed document is available on request. (PROJECT ID:FE002)

Student Enrichment:

1.Student Projects Fund – BITS students are participating in top Intl Engineering Design competitions (and winning!) This fund will provide seed funding for such projects (PROJECT ID:SE001)

2.Tuition Scholarships - This fund will help students in need to make sure they are able to continue their studies. (PROJECT ID: SE002)

3.Travel Grants - This fund will support student travel for paper presentations at international conferences. (PROJECT ID: SE003)

Infrastructure:

1.BITSConnect 2.0 - this project aims to connect all 4 BITS campuses with dedicated high-bandwidth interconnect for the purpose of distance learning, research collaboration and remote recruitment. We envision establishing videoconferencing in dedicated mage and small classrooms as well as in faculty offices. BITSAA has worked with BITS administration very closely on this project and has fully driven the procurement and bidding process. The cost of the project is expected to be in the range of $1,000,000, split equally between BITS and BITSAA. Our goal is to raise at least $500,000 for this project. (PROJECT ID: INF001) . Watch a one and a half minute trailer youtube video here

Community Enrichment:

1.AtmaNirbhara – This project's goal is to setup a Community Resource Center in Pilani, Rajasthan (PRC-Pilani Resource Center), to house community development activities like vocational training, placement assistance, primary education assistance for rural children, self-help groups for women, micro-finance and micro-credit facilities, etc., for the communities in and around Pilani. (PROJECT ID: COM001)


BITSAA's commitment to smooth and transparent proceedings

The following infrastructure and governance processes are in place for representation, administration, transparency and accountability:

Administration

1. An all-volunteer team of office bearers

2. BITS administration represented with director-level owners for alumni affairs

Representation

1. Global chapters represented on the governing council.

2. An Alumni Advisory Council of accomplished BITS alumni has been formed to advise BITS administration and lend its expertise to help BITS in several areas, including curriculum development, Practice School, work-integrated learning, faculty induction, research agenda, etc. The Council will help prioritize causes for the BITSAA to work on.


 

Transparency & Accountability

BITS has opened a dedicated Alumni funds account to hold BITSAA funds. Under the provisions of a recently executed Memorandum of Understanding, BITSAA’s CFO will have online access to this account for real-time transparency. Annual audits, which will be made available to alumni, will ensure full and transparent accountability of funds.

These measures will ensure that the Bridges to the Future projects will proceed smoothly and transparently.

How can you Contribute?

If you live in Wish to donate via Check? Wish to donate Online?

India

Payable to: "BITS Pilani"

Office of Alumni Affairs,
Attn: Prof Arya Kumar,
BITS Pilani,
Pilani,
Rajasthan - 333031, India

Please visit http://www.bitsaa.org/bridgestothefuture and click on the appropriate fund. This will take you to the Online donation links. Choose the one for India (e.g For 88 Batch Reunion Contributions http://go2bits-1988.doattend.com/ )

USA

Payable to: "BITSAA International"

BITSAA International,
Attn: CFO, BITSAA International,
1560 Sunnyvale Saratoga Road,
Suite 200,
Sunnyvale, CA - 94087, USA

Please visit http://www.bitsaa.org/donations and click on the appropriate fund

Other Geographies

Payable to: "BITS Pilani"

Office of Alumni Affairs,
Attn: Prof Arya Kumar,
BITS Pilani,
Pilani,
Rajasthan - 333031, India

Use the BITSAA website http://www.bitsaa.org/donations to make an online contribution (NOTE: Your credit card may reflect some nominal currency conversion charges). You can also wire money directly to BITS Pilani. Write to us if you would want to avail this option.


 


In all cases, please
  • Write the project ID of the project that you wish to have your contribution apply to, and your batch (year of entry to BITS) in the memo area of the cheque or comments area in the online form. If you are not sure about what project to donate to but still want to make a difference, you can donate directly to the general fund (online). Further, If you don’t specify a project ID, then your contribution will also go into the general fund where it will be used for the project with the most need.
  • send an email to bridgestothefuture@bitsaa.org with the details of your donation for tracking purposes

While Cash (credit card, cheque, wire transfer etc) is the simplest way of donating, there are other ways to donate (like stocks and securities, life insurance policies etc). Please visit this page for more details.

Note: A small percentage (historically around 0.5% to 1.5%) of this contributed amount shall be deducted for administrative/ overhead expenses that BITSAA incurs as an organization and shall be pro-rated based on actuals at the end of the year. This will apply to all donations made after Mar 2013 

As always, please don't hesitate to write to us at bridgestothefuture@bitsaa.org.


BITSAA International


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