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News & Press: Aug 2011

BITSAA Student Awards 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: BITSAA Newsletter
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BITSAA hosts a series of named awards every year for the students at various campuses of BITS. Currently there are 6 awards hosted by BITSAA every year. The major milestone for this year is the establishment of Srikant Visweswariah Analog Design Contest and Fellowship as an endowed award through BITSAA India Trust.

If you are interested in creating a named award, get in touch with Scholarships Team at

Srikant Visweswariah Analog Design Contest and Fellowship

Srikant Visweswariah Analog Design Award and Fellowship is first fully endowed award through BITSAA India Trust. This is a major milestone after BITSAA India attaining 80G and 12A non-profit organization status registered with Indian Government. All contributions to BITSAA India Trust can be claimed for 50% Tax Exemption.

Srikant Visweswariah Analog Design Award and Fellowship is instituted in the memory of Srikant Visweswariah, an alumnus of BITS Pilani. Srikant graduated with a degree in Electronics Engineering from BITS Pilani in 1971. He lost his 2-year battle with cancer in April 2009. He graduated nearly at the top his class at BITS, chose a career in the Indian Air Force. While serving in the IAF he did his M.Tech from IIT, Kanpur. He was persuaded to take early retirement from the IAF by no less a person than Mr Abdul Kalam, the former president of India so that he could lead a team of engineers to develop the avionics for the Light Combat Aircraft for the IAF. While Srikant dabbled in business now and then, his real passion was academics and in particular microwave, radar and signal processing. During a visit to BITS in 2005, it was pointed out to Srikant that the study of high frequency analog electronics is relegated in recent times in favor of computer science and digital electronics at BITS. He felt that it was unfortunate that India (and to some extent, the world) is slowly but surely losing skills in this critical area. Appropriately, Srikant's wife Sandhya and daughter Sanjana have instituted this award to help mitigate this problem to a small extent by encouraging talented youngsters at BITS to take up this field of study.

The award and fellowship are disbursed as two phases. The first phase is the analog design competition to be organized during or before APOGEE as deemed fit by the APOGEE Organizing Committe at BITS, Pilani. The first three winners are entitled for the award money, 5000 INR, 3000 INR and 2000 INR respectively. The second phase of the award is a fellowship of 20,000 INR(to be inflated 2500 INR every 3 years) that shall be awarded to the student winning the analog design competition if he/she takes up a project on analog electronics and related fields in his/her final semester at BITS, Pilani. The award and fellowship program officially started in 2010, but as an endowed award in 2011.

The capital money is deposited in Fixed Deposit Scheme with Axis Bank at ROI 8.5% which will be renewed every 5 years along with the unused money from the interest gained per year. The endowment is for a span of 15-25 years depending on the fluctuations in the interest rates.

Srikant’s wife Sandhya, the donor, says with excitement “I am very happy that this is going on so well, and I can only say that my husband would have been delighted by this. It is most heartening that so many young students are participating in this enthusiastically”. The details of the contest and award winners of 2011 can be found at:

The first prize winner Rakul Viswanath acknowledges the donors by saying “The award and the fellowship have surely served as a very strong motivation for me to continue working on Analog VLSI. I wish to convey my gratitude to the donors and request that the goodwill continue.”

We would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of many enthusiastic minds that are behind the success of this endeavor. We thank the donors Sandhya and Sanjana for their generosity and effort to encourage young and talented minds. Our sincere thanks to V V Ramanan, a close friend of SrikantVisweswariah, who has been the driving force and also offered incredible support throughout. He says, "Perhaps this is the best way to honor Srikant's memory, because he always considered Pilani a special place. I hope that this award is only the first of the numerous such awards for excellence in academics which will help BITS carve out a special place in engineering/science education in India and the world".

Special thanks to Uzma Hussain(Former CMO, BITSAA International), Aalap Tripathy (CEO, BITSAA International) and Nilesh Rathi (Former Director, Scholarships Team) for their support, guidance and encouragement along with all those who have been helping us setting up the endowment with ease.

The other awards conducted in 2011 are:

R P Vaid Award

The R. P. Vaid Award was instituted by the alumni in honour of Prof. Vaid. The first award coincided with Prof. Vaid's retirement. A cash prize of Rs. 5,000 is awarded to a deserving Chemical Engineering student, studying in Pilani campus.

Check out for the brief profile of 2011 award winner.

The "Prabhat Award for Best Outgoing Student in Physics" has been instituted by BITS alumnus Mr. Amit Garg ('89 Physics) from 2010 for a period of three years. The award will be given out in the II Semester (January - May) and consist of a certificate and a cash award of INR 10,000 to one student. Check out for the brief profile of 2011 award winner.

Mantra Awards

The Mantra awards were instituted by CEL, in 2009, to recognize and reward outstanding students who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential and/or entrepreneurial initiative. Anupendra Sharma, co-founder of CEL, Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital in Boston, and CEL Alumni Advisor had initiated the creation of the Four ‘Mantra Awards’ namely:

1. Mantra Award for Outstanding Leadership

2. Mantra Entrepreneur of the Year Award

3. Mantra Award for Social Leadership

4. Mantra Innovator of the Year Award

For the list of winners, please visit :

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