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News & Press: Feb 2012

Launching BITSConnect 2.0

Sunday, February 26, 2012   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Sukanya Vijaykumar
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BITSConnect 2.0 aims to create the first ever multi-campus virtual university in India. Using Telepresence quality video conferencing technologies, we plan to take the Faculty-Student-Alumni interaction to the next level, and enrich the learning experience at BITS Pilani. This will be the largest video conferencing setup ever done in any educational institute in India.

In 2002, BITS was one of the first Indian universities to setup gigabit Ethernet, IP telephony
and wireless access on campus via BITSConnect 1.0. Projects like BITSEmbryo leveraged that
infrastructure to virtually connect 100s of alumni and experts with students and faculty.

BITS, now, has 4 beautiful campuses in Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai. BITSConnect 2.0
aims to bridge the geographical distance between these campuses by installing state-of-the-art
Telepresence systems in one conference room and one 250-seater classroom in each campus.

BITSConnect 2.0 will enable
- Remote Teaching: A specialized elective like Machine Learning could now be offered to
students in all 4 campuses by the professor residing in Pilani campus.
- Remote Meetings: Faculty and administrative staff will increase productivity by meeting
via telepresence, which gives an experience of physically being present in the same
conference room.
- Web Conferencing: Any faculty could conduct a web conference (audio + video +
content sharing) with anybody in the world.
- Embryo 2.0: An alumnus like Vivek Paul or an expert like Dr Aubrey De Grey can
simultaneously and remotely interact with all 4 campuses.
- Online Publication of Course Content: All courses can be recorded and streamed like
- Industry Relations & Recruitment: Any company like Microsoft Research, Seattle can
remotely recruit students or engage in research collaboration.

BITSConnect 2.0 will also enable BITS Alumni Association to hold web conferences for
occasions like batch reunions and chapter meetings. And of course, it’ll allow BITS Alumni to
connect with and hire talent from all the 4 campuses.

BITSConnect 2.0 is the flagship project of BITSAA International this year. Conceived during
BITSAA Global Meet (BGM 2011) by Shashikant Khandelwal & Prem Jain, and executed in
2011-2012, it’ll be fully deployed in all campuses by July 2012.

This is a unique project where a joint team of BITSAA and BITS Pilani representatives is
working closely to make it successful. Hard negotiations with vendors and manufactures by the
BITSAA team have brought down the cost of this multi-million dollar project by more than 50%.
The Chancellor, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla has given his approval, and the Vice Chancellor, Dr
B.N. Jain and all the 4 Directors are the patrons for this project.

BITSConnect 2.0 is a big leap forward towards the "Vision 2020, Mission 2012” initiative by
BITS Pilani to continually strive for excellence in teaching and research, and be ranked as one of
the top technical institutions in Asia by 2020.


Sushil Birla says...
Posted Sunday, March 25, 2012
Check out the Alma Matters project at the URL It is a start-up proposal for a website that connects alumni to student and university projects for crowd-funding. The idea is to reconnect alumni with their university while giving students the opportunity to make their passions become a reality! You can vote for the "Alma Matters" project, if you want such help in connecting alumni and students with projects that need funding.

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