The Mumbai Chapter of BITSAA
played host to possibly one of the largest gatherings of BITSians in recent
times (leaving the BITSAA Global Meet 2011 aside) on January 13, 2012. The occasion was the annual get together of
the BITSAA Mumbai chapter which has gone by the name ‘Time of Your Life’
reflecting the times the BITSians spent in their campuses. The gathering was
all the more special as it was held under the backdrop of the first ever BITS
Advisory Council meeting and the attendees for this meeting not only included the
council members but also the Vice Chancellor and the Directors of the four BITS
campuses across the globe.
This was just the beginning. The
icing on the cake was Mr. Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra
gracing the occasion and spending almost 45 minutes with the crowd.
Raju Reddy, Chairman of BITSAA
Internationalset the ball rolling by welcoming the Chief Guest as well as the
250 strong audience to an evening of fun. Raju spelt out the key tasks in front
of the BITSAA executive team and laid special emphasis on the BITS Connect 2.0
program and the BITS Spark project. While the BITS Connect 2.0 is a US$ 1.5 mn
program which aims at interconnecting four different campuses of BITS through
telepresence rooms, the BITS Spark program aims to foster BITSian entrepreneurs
and accelerate the progress of startups founded by them.
Mr. Prithviraj Chavan then took
the stage and spent some time reminiscing about his days in BITS and his own
days as an entrepreneur after completing his Masters from Berkley. For a person
coming from a family steeped in politics, he said that it was but a natural
progression for him when he was asked to run in the 1990’s by Rajiv Gandhi and
he has not looked back since then. While
a large portion of his political career was at the centre he felt that being
thrust at the state level in the recent past brought new challenges and he has
managed to weather the storm and is looking forward to a long innings at the
Mr. Chavan expressed a desire to
play an active role in the BITSAA activities in Mumbai and has extended an
invitation to the team at BITSAA Mumbai to find ways and means of involving
people to create a more vibrant chapter that can give something back to the
society apart from working towards creating a stronger BITS brand.
Another notable event was the
signing of a MoU between BITS and the Class of ’81 represented
by Dilip D'Souza, Nemish Mehta, Dinesh Mirchandani and Raju Reddy to
institute a Chair Professorship at BITS. The idea is to find special faculty
talent from nearly anywhere in the world and attract them to BITS. The Class of
'81 believes this model of establishing Chairs is a very good way to bring
teaching and research talent to Pilani. The process of searching for the right person
to fill this Chair is about to start. With this lead, the Class of '81 hopes
that other classes, or groups of alumni, will also take similar steps. They
believe this can transform the face of BITS.
Once the formal events were out
of the way, the BITSian spirit took over – figuratively and literally!!! The
enthusiastic bunch of ex-music clubbers including Atul Mishra, Amrish Jalali
and Dinesh Mirchandani belted out some old favorites that had the crowd in a
tizzy. There was also a Brain of BITSAA quiz conducted by Diwakar Pingle (’88)
which tested the grey cells of the BITS junta with nice goodies thrown in to
All said, the main takeaway for
the day for most of the audience was hooking up with their old friends and
reliving the Pilani days. Not often do you get to see a 1955 batch BITSian tell
his tales to one from a 2007 batch and the ‘stories’ are lapped up with great
enthusiasm and pride.
After all, every BITSian(s) had
the time of their lives at BITS Pilani!