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Technically yours
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WHAT IS IT' A deemed university for science and technology.
WHO’S THE BOSS' Dr S.K. Mukherjee is the vice-chancellor.
HOW TO GET IN' Through the all-India engineering entrance
examination.
WHAT ABOUT JOBS' The placement record is above 90 per cent.
WHERE TO STAY' There’s hostel accommodation for 3600 students — both boys and girls.
WHERE IS IT' Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi-835215; Phone: 0651- 2275444; Website: www.bitmesra.ac.in

The BIT, Mesra campus has been abuzz with excitement all year. With 50 glorious years in its kitty, the golden jubilee celebrations of the institute are well and truly on. Indeed, the brainchild of the late B.M. Birla ' who founded this institute in 1955 on a sprawling 780-acre campus overlooking the confluence of the Jumar and Subarnarekha rivers ' has grown into a major centre of technical education in eastern India.

They teach it all

Located 15 km from Ranchi, BIT, Mesra started with just two departments in 1955. The deemed university status came in 1986. But today, the institute offers courses in practically all disciplines of technical education. Undergraduate bachelors degree courses are offered in biotechnology, computer science and technology, electrical and electronics engineering, electronics and communications engineering, mechanical engineering, production engineering, civil engineering and polymer engineering.

The postgraduate degrees include master of business management, master of business administration, master in computer application, MSc in information science, MSc in bio-medical instrumentation. Besides, BIT offers MTech courses in remote sensing, computer science, fuels and combustion, scientific computing, environmental science and engineering and new material and processing technology.

That's not all. The institute also offers masters degree courses in all engineering disciplines. Students can opt for a PhD in all disciplines. Says Dr S.K. Mukherjee, the vice-chancellor, 'The institute has been successful in establishing a benchmark for quality in professional education at reasonable costs.' The fee for a semester is around Rs 25,000 for the bachelors degree courses in engineering and pharmacology while it is around Rs 27,000 for the bachelors degree in hotel management and catering technology, a course that was introduced recently.

Bigger and bigger

Expansion has been one of the features of BIT Mesra's growth. Apart from the six extension centres in the country ' in Calcutta, Jaipur, Noida, Ranchi, Allahabad and Chennai ' it also boasts a couple of offshore extension centres in Muscat and Bahrain. The credibility graph, too, shows a steady ascent over the years. The diploma programmes are accredited by the City and Guilds of London Institute, and MoUs have been signed with Purdue University of USA and the University of Leeds, UK, for academic collaborations.

When it's placement time, as many as 80 companies, including IT, manufacturing and core engineering majors like Wipro, Cognizant, IBM, TCS, Motorola and HCL Technologies, visit the campus. As Prof. B.B. Pant, who is in charge of the placement cell, says, 'More than 90 per cent of the engineering students get placed. At present, 615 of them already have job offers, with 50 students getting more than one offer. '

Ask the students, and they give the faculty all the credit for this. Mechanical engineering students Anuj and Nirbhay, for instance, are all praise for their teachers under whose guidance they developed a model for an automobile that that would be stable while taking sharp turns at high speed. The duo won this year's Henning Award from Larsen and Toubro for technical excellence.

Mettle mantle

At the behest of the state government, BIT has also started a polytechnic institute adjacent to the main campus. The aim is to train the local people to enable them to become entrepreneurs. Another recent initiative of the institute is the Sidbi Centre for Innovation and Incubation (SCII) for small industries that seek to develop entrepreneurship skills in graduates.

But the institute is not on an all-work regimen. There's a lot of scope for fun and games too. The main campus has separate cricket and football fields, an athletics track, a state-of-the-art indoor stadium and a gymnasium. The annual festival is known as 'BITOTSAV', while the technical fests are known as Unnayan.

ARUN KUMAR THAKUR

Old memories

Dharmendra Kumar Sinha, vice-president, Cognizant, recalls his BIT days

MY STINT AT BIT, Mesra was both very useful and enjoyable. We were in a perpetually competitive environment. The combination of classroom education and practical experiences that the institute provided us with has helped me make good professional decisions all through my career.
There was also a very good balance between work and life. Annual festivals, semester-end parties, games, Singhji’s dhaba, and playing pranks on teachers were a welcome relief from the tough work schedule. I have been to the campus several times since I graduated in 1986 and it has always been a pleasure to see the institute improve in every area — infrastructure and otherwise.”

As told to Arun Kumar Thakur

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