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News & Press: May 2011

Seven Chair Professorships to be set up at BITS, Soliciting Alumni to set up Chairs

Sunday, May 15, 2011   (0 Comments)
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SP Kothari
Raju Reddy

My fellow BITSians,

Raju and I are delighted to share with you exciting news from BITS. BITS Pilani at its last General Body Meeting have resolved to setup "Named" Chair Professors at the BITS Pilani Campuses. Chair Professorships can be named by a distinguished alumnus, a corporate entity, a member of the Birla family, well wishers of BITS (Government Agency or International Body). A Chair Professor at BITS will promote excellence and leadership in teaching, research and innovation in a discipline of donor's choice and facilitate deeper interaction between practising engineers/scientists and BITS faculty. While the terms of the Chair are subject to an MoU, BITS expects the donor to endow Rs 44 lakhs to enable funding a Chair Professor for a 20 year period. In pursuit of this aim BITS Chancellor Dr Kumarmangalam Birla and Vice Chancellor Dr B N Jain have announced the creation of 7 (seven) Chair Professorships funded by the Birla Family (please see Vice Chancellor's message below).

While we must congratulate BITS Leadership for initiating this program and the Birla Family (Chancellor Dr KM Birla) for funding the first seven Chairs, we as BITS Alumni must resolve to set several more up. Raju and I have already written to and have begun actively working with some of you. As India takes center stage in the world our alma-mater BITS Pilani is poised to become a leading global brand for science & engineering. This is an exciting time for us alumni to make a difference to India's premier "independent", "multi-campus" University - BITS Pilani. As a member of the BITS Pilani General Body, I have seen first-hand the determination of the BITS Leadership to change and renew BITS Pilani. BITS is receptive of our alumni voice: the sabbatical program promoted by BITSAA ( has been approved. BITS Strategic Plan (through Mission 2012/Vision 2020) plans to grow BITS on the research and innovation front(from 250 Ph.D's to 1630 by 2020). We should all get involved. We should get together and assist BITS in this "grand challenge" of renewal it has embarked upon - Chair Professorships being the first.

On behalf of BITSAA International Chairman-Elect Raju Reddy (1976-1981), Fundraising Chair Viggy Mokkarala (1976-1981), CIO Rajesh Chelapurath (1988-1992), CEO Aalap Tripathy(2004-2008) and the team will personally work with you and faciliate creating named Chairs with your generous donations. Please feel to reach out to me (, Raju ( or BITSAA's Investments Team ( for more details. We look forward to working with you in setting up several alumni funded Chairs at our alma-mater.

On Behalf of the BITSAA International Board of Trustees (

SP Kothari (1974-79)
Outgoing Chairman of the Board,

Raju Reddy (1976-81)
Current Chairman of the Board,

BITSAA International Inc.,

Announcement of Chair Professorships at BITS PILANI

KM Birla
BN Jain

The Chancellor, Dr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, is happy to announce the establishment of seven Chair Professorships at BITS PILANI to mark the Seventieth Wedding Anniversary of his grandparents, Shri Basant Kumar Birla and Shrimati Dr. Sarla Birla on Saturday, April 30, 2011.

A Chair Professorship helps recognize and reward excellence in teaching and/or research by a member of the BITS PILANI faculty at either of its campuses or to induct a professor from outside BITS PILANI. Such a person would be re-designated as Chair Professor. Each "Chair Professorship" also helps establish an endowment with significant funds that are used to (a) make available to the Chair Professor a "research grant", and (b) provide to him/her a small honorarium to cover additional effort required to fulfill the charter laid out for the endowment.

The faculty, staff and students gratefully acknowledge this very significant initiative on the part of the Chancellor and his family, and remain convinced that such initiatives will help BITS PILANI scale newer heights.

Bijendra Nath Jain
Vice Chancellor

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