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BITS Pilani deploys multi-million dollar technology infrastructure to connect its campuses

BITS Pilani, India’s premier independent University, along with BITSAA, its global alumni association, today launched a first of its kind multi-million dollar cross-campus technology initiative named BITSConnect 2.0.

 
PRLog - Jan. 9, 2013 - San Jose, January 9, 2013: Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, India’s premier independent University, along with BITSAA, its global alumni association, today launched a first of its kind multi-million dollar cross-campus technology initiative named BITSConnect 2.0. Pioneering a unique
model of multi-campus education in India, the initiative comprises Immersive Telepresence, Highdefinition Video Conferencing and Live Streaming technologies, which are set to transform the learning experience by connecting all campuses at an unprecedented scale. This University-Alumni initiative was
launched simultaneously at Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad campuses, while being connected to Cisco’s offices in San Jose and Boston, jointly by Prof. Bijendra Nath Jain, Vice Chancellor, BITS Pilani and Raju Reddy, Chairman, BITSAA.

BITS Pilani aspires to be among the top research-driven institutions in Asia by 2020. On course to realize its vision, BITS Pilani became one of the first Indian universities to set up IP Telephony, Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless accessibility on campus with BITSConnect 1.0 in 2003. BITSConnect 2.0 is the flagship in a
bouquet of programs undertaken by BITSAA together with BITS Pilani called Bridges to the Future. By bridging the geographical distance across campuses and global knowledge centers, this platform will enable collaboration and resource sharing within campuses while enabling students and faculty to work
with their peers in global universities and BITS alumni in industry.

The Chancellor of BITS Pilani, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, says, “The launch of BITSConnect 2.0 from its three campuses in India signals a significant step forward that extends the boundaries of technology-enabled learning. The Telepresence system provides avenues for research collaboration and knowledge
sharing among BITS’ faculty and students, and for face-to-face communication between members of BITS’ leadership.”

Speaking on the occasion, SP Kothari (’74) Deputy Dean at MIT Sloan and Chairman Emeritus of BITSAA International said, “BITSConnect 2.0 heralds a new era for technology-enabled education. It has the capability to bring speakers from anywhere in the world almost alive into the classroom at BITS. The scope and scale of this connectivity is par none in India and rare in the world. As an alumnus, I am extremely proud to see my alma-mater become a world-leader in this area.”

BITSConnect 2.0 is powered by Cisco Systems using technologies valued at over USD 5 million. Speaking via video message from San Jose, John Chambers, Chairman & CEO Cisco said, "It is important for great companies and Universities to adapt to transitions in business and technology. Make no mistake about it; you (BITS Pilani) are amongst the world's elite. We at Cisco are proud to be a small part of the BITS Team. Learning what you are doing from an alumni and leadership perspective, I think is an example for the rest of the world. I thank you and continue to challenge you for your leadership".

New Era of Technology-powered Education

This semester, BITS Pilani will offer more than 14 specialized electives to 1000s of students across its campuses by professors working from any of its campuses. To collaborate, Faculty and Staff no longer need to travel. Academicians from across the world will be able to collaborate with and mentor research projects in BITS via Immersive Telepresence.

Elaborating on this project, Raju Reddy (’76) President & Chairman of BITSAA International said, "As India takes center stage in the world economy, the next generation of a Stanford or MIT is bound to come from India and/or China within the next two decades. Our alma-mater is taking significant steps to become one of these global brands in higher education coming out of Asia. We are extremely excited to make a difference to our alma mater with this project"

Enhanced University-Alumni Collaboration

BITSConnect 2.0 is a joint initiative of BITS Pilani and BITSAA that was conceived during the BITSAA Global Meet (2011), which witnessed participation from 1200+ BITSians from across 20 countries. This provided an opportunity to discuss debate and decide the next focused initiative for alumni to undertake.
Having committed to a January 2014 deadline, they have successfully completed the implementation one year ahead of schedule. Many alumni have contributed significantly for this project. Viggy Mokkarala (’76) BITSAA’s Global Fundraising Chair said, “Our alumni are keenly interested in strengthening the BITS brand and have generously given their business and technology expertise, in addition to monetary donations to make this project a reality.”

About Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani

BITS Pilani is India’s top private University with 4 campuses at Pilani (1964), Dubai (2000), Goa (2004) and Hyderabad (2008). BITS Pilani employs 700 full time faculty and has 11,000 on-campus & 19,000 off-campus students. BITS Pilani has been a pioneer in the Indian higher education landscape for over a
half-century with a world-class benchmarked curriculum and the largest industry-university network. The institute is one of the most selective in the world with a <1.5% admit rate. Intake is administered through an online exam called BITSAT. For more information, visit http://www.bits-pilani.ac.in/.

About BITS Pilani Alumni Association (BITSAA)

BITSAA International is the global all-volunteer alumni association for BITS Pilani representing 50,000+ alumni in 90 countries. It engages in charitable and educational activities by creating endowments, granting scholarships, rewarding teaching and research, enhancing the personal & professional lives of its
alumni and promoting the general development at all BITS Pilani campuses. In the past decade, some of its key projects have been to network the campuses (BITSConnect), enhance the quality of education (Embryo, OLAB), promote entrepreneurship (NVC, BITS Spark, BITS2Startup), promote rural education
and employability (Atmanirbhara), support professional development of alumni & students (BITS2MSPHD, BITS2IAS, BITS2BSCHOOL) & promote Brand-BITS (LPBP, BGM). For more information, visit: http://www.bitsaa.org.

Additional information on the BITSConnect 2.0 project can be found at http://bitsconnect20.bitsaa.org or via e-mail at rahul@pilani.bits-pilani.ac.in

For further details, please contact:

Kalyan Krishnamani
VP, Communications, BITSAA
kalyan@bitsaa.org
+1 408 658 9276

Mr. Hareish Gur
VP, Outreach, BITSAA
hareish@bitsaa.org
+91 9871622224

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Source:BITSAA
Country:United States
Industry:Education, Technology
Tags:bits pilani, BITSConnect 2.0, telepresence, online education, pilani
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