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It was about a year ago around this date itself, that I was in the position so many engineering aspirants

find themselves. It was time for me to make a choice. And it was a choice which would change my life. I chose (after much struggle and intense thinking, mind you) BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. And after spending a year in the college, I know I made the right choice. Disclaimer : Blatant advertising ahead. Read at your own risk, you might just get persuaded to become my junior. I'm here to persuade you to come to BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. First of all, just to prove I'm not trying to pull your leg, and that this college should be a serious contender for your affections, I'll link you to this page - http://admissions.aglasem.com/?p=5649--fr Yes, BITS Hyderabad (all right, they missed out the S) comes in second in the list of private colleges in India. Interested now? Read on! A bit of background first. BITS Hyderabad was founded in 2008 by the wishes of the late Dr. KK Birla. He wanted to see the Hyderabad Campus function at full capacity before he died. Alas, it was not to be. He died on the 30th of that very year. As you people might or might not be knowing, BITS Pilani and the Hyderabad campus function on the same guidelines. Apart from the difference in teachers and location, there is absolutely no difference in the style and quality of teaching between them. Pilani and Hyderabad (And Goa, for that matter) both follow the MIT system of education. Students must do a few mandatory courses for their own discipline and are allowed to choose some electives according to their interest. The disciplines available are : • • • • • • • • • • • • BE (Hons.) Chemical Engineering BE (Hons.) Computer Science Engineering BE (Hons.) Civil Engineering BE (Hons.) Mechanical Engineering BE (Hons.) Electrical and Electronics Engineering BE (Hons.) Electronics and Communication Engineering B Pharm. (Hons.) MSc (Hons.) Physics MSc (Hons.) Mathematics MSc (Hons.) Economics MSc (Hons.) Chemistry MSc (Tech.) Information Systems

One of the most important things about the BITS system is our Practise Schools. A Practise School after second year and a practise school during one half of the fourth year (the whole of fifth year for MSc students) is highly recommended. In fact, one is registered for them by default. You'd have to approach the Student Division to get it cancelled. If one gets an Msc, it doesn't mean that all hopes of engineering are over for the person. BITS has a provision for giving out Dual Degrees. The course becomes an integrated course so that after five years you will be given two degrees instead of one. The Msc you were originally given, and a BE of your

choice. The choice, of course, will be influenced by the marks you get in your first year, so make sure to study hard, all you Msc students. If you ask many people, they'll be able to tell you about the Pilani and Goa campuses. Pilani, because it's Godforsaken Pilani, and Goa, because it's been up and running for close to a decade now. Hyderabad is the shiny new campus which came up three years ago. If you are worried about the state of facilities there, I won't lie to you. Not all of them have come up yet. However, the only ones that haven't come up yet are the Auditorium and the sports facilities. The hostels, the academic block, the messes, the marketplace, all have already come up. The roads are built, the gardens are maintained (in fact, they look like the gardens of a resort), the music club has a place to jam, the photography club has a place to display its projects and the art club has a room to paint the hell out of. We also have a great gym. In fact, there are two of them, one for boys and the other for girls. Presumably, I know nothing about the girls' gym (peeping is kinda hard) but the boys gym is fully stocked. To the best of my knowledge, almost everything required for a full workout is present there. We've got footballers, power lifters (Yes, we do have a power lifter and he loves the gym. He also knows what he's doing seeing that he broke the BOSM Power lifting record when he went to Pilani.), casual gymmers and people like me who go once in a while. The gym accommodates us all. The Academic Block is awesome too. Seeing that we have no compulsory attendance, we just go there to give tests (just kidding, we go there to collect papers too), but in our short time there, we can tell people that the place is amazing. Every classroom is fully air-conditioned (beat that Pilani!) and the lecture halls are amazingly modern. You can hear teachers boom out on JBL speakers and pretend to study. We have excellent faculty. The teachers know what to do and are not afraid of their students. They encourage you to seek them out at all times of the day and have no qualms in answering doubts way into the evening. They give out our results on time (how we wish they didn't) and keep us on our toes. True, we bitch about them, and insult them behind their backs (err... sometimes, not always), but every one of us realises that the people we have are experts in their fields. Many of them get grants from various organisations (there are TVs in the lobbies of the Academic Block which show which professor got what grant, those interested can bore themselves there) and do research in their own time. They give a lot of time in designing our question papers (we wish they slacked off...) and spend a lot of time in checking them well. And frankly, they spoil us. We don't go to classes, don't listen to their advice throughout the year, and yet when we come to them with doubts just before our exams, they greet us with smiles and answer us pretty well. Enough about our faculty. I'll spend some time in explaining our society there. First, the students. See, the first thing you must know is that since we qualified for BITS, we can (and do) consider ourselves the crème-de-la-crème of the engineering world. And oh yes we are! We encourage you to think the same (and recognise that as seniors, we are infinitely greater that you will ever be, but that will be impressed upon you when you come to campus). People expect to find a bunch or nerds in a top Engineering college, or a bunch of geeks discussing Quantum Physics all the time. You will find them, true. But remember, they are not the majority. A vast majority of us here have worked long and hard to get where we are and now we want to stretch ourselves. Polishing our hobbies comes first, and studying comes a distant last in our priority list. I am a keyboard player, my best friend is a singer and a dancer (or so he thinks), my neighbour is a really good footballer, and I've probably introduced you to the power lifter already, no? Another friend is a computer whiz (and a coward to boot), I have friends who love keeping up with current affairs (like me) and then we have those who scoff at our hobbies. We repay the favour by scoffing at theirs.

But in the end, we remain good friends. We go to the city together, discuss girls, watch movies late into the night, listen to music, jam in my room (and destroy people's hearing), watch sitcoms and anime, and at times we shed aside the geek in us and turn into rabid LAN gamers. We make the most of our time in college and have fun like nobody's business. And when come exams, we run for books like the hounds of hell themselves are on out tails. At this point, I'll reassure you about the ragging thing in our campus. There is none. There are huge posters in campus listing phone numbers to call if you get ragged. And plus, we're too good to rag you. We'll make you suffer in other ways! Now I turn to Clubs. First off, I'll tell you about the music club, since that's the one I'm the most familiar with (I'm in it). Our equipment is awesome (really, no other word for it). We have a Pearl drum kit, Marshall and Roland Amps, a really expensive mixer, a damn good keyboard, an octo-pad, huge speakers from JBL, and more importantly, amazing people behind those instruments. The people who aren't very good work pretty hard, and the ones whore really good work harder still. The music club also has a classical aspect (I'm in the western half, so I'm not that familiar with it) and has all the instruments you'd normally associate with classical music. Starting from the Tabla to the Veena, we have them all. Even better is the fact that the administration is very receptive to what we want. They acquiesce to our demands (within limits) whenever we feel the need to make them. The only thing we're lacking is acoustic padding on our walls. I am in the literary club as well, whose job it is to hold debates and essay competitions, to run the magazine and other fun stuff. Its the most active around fest-times, so look out for it then. The club is called ELAS – English Literature Appreciation Society. Other clubs include the Dance club (Its oriented more towards Indian dances), the Quiz Club (We have very good quizzers), the Photography Club, the Art Club and various others whose names I've forgotten and never bothered to learn. All of them come together during fest time. Our cultural fest is called Pearl, and it is a grand affair. The last time we had it was our first experience at having a fest at the national level and I tell you. We pulled out all the stops. The highlight of the show was the Swedish Death Metal band “Dark Tranquillity”. The image of fans and non-fans alike screaming themselves hoarse and head-banging late into the night comes to mind. Lots and lots of fun. And then came the Pakistani band “Strings”. 'Nuff said. Do invite your friends to the next one. It will be one hell of a ride. There is one club I'd like to devote some more space to. It's called CEL, or Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership. It is a club devoted to furthering entrepreneurial feelings within the BITS population. The people part of it are usually those who wish to either do an MBA afterwords, or want to set up their own businesses after graduation, or both. These guys set up competitions for judging ideas on what can and cannot work in a home grown business. For those of you who are a bit sceptical about this idea (Like I was when I came), do remember that a lot of BITS Alumni went on to become businessmen. Most of you, however, will have ambitions to go on for an MBA after this and I assure you, you will find like minded people there. A programme which will be implemented as soon as we go back is the Student-Mentor Programme. The objectives are to designate a senior mentor for junior students (a third or fourth year mentor, and first and second year disciples) to help them out in case they have any problems. Since this will be the first time this programme will be implemented, we have no idea as to how it will work. I guess a little amount of co-operation will be needed from the sides of both mentor and disciple in order to oil the gears for this. I wouldn't be too afraid, though. The finest minds of CEL have come up with it and the

best brains of the campus will be there to help you out. We'll go to sports next. A football ground is coming up, as is a cricket ground. We do have temporary grounds though, where we play till the permanent ones finally come up. We do, however, have indoor Badminton courts, a big Table-Tennis cum Carom room, two well-maintained Lawn Tennis Courts and a couple of Basketball courts. Notice my emphasis on well-maintained. That's because everything is extremely well maintained. They don't just remove excess grass from the courts, the courts are kept in tip-top condition. I'd be damned if Roger Federer or Michael Jordan could say a thing about it. Our next pit stop is the hostels. They are good. Everyone gets single rooms. You can do whatever you want in it and no one gives a damn. It is, after all, your room. I have a friend who eats eggs twenty-four seven in his room and another who watches anime all day long. No one cares. We get cold water to drink at all times of the day, very well cleaned toilets and bathrooms, and clean corridors. No one has yet to fault the cleaning staff for neglecting their duties. And if it continues the way it has been going, then I bet no one will have to either. We have this huge ground in the middle of the Hostel which has a couple of volleyball courts and two badminton courts. People can be seen playing volleyball at two in the night at times. The mess is... the mess. Simple as that, no other answer. There are two of them, but seeing as my arguments pertain to both, I will refer to both the messes as “it”. It has a huge capacity, makes tons and tons of food (some of which we avoid) and the taste would make any seasoned wine taster cringe, but since I am not one, I can live with it. For those of you who are Jains, the mess people have no qualms in making food without onions and flavour, so be happy. The cycle of food repeats weekly. There are, of course, numerous arguments about which mess's food tastes better. None of them ever come to a conclusion. For all you gourmets out there, you will have another another eating option in the Campus, namely the restaurant “Temptations”. Next we move straight towards the library. It was in the process of completion the last time I saw it, and I swear to god, if the construction workers relaxed the instant we left, then they will regret it. The library is supposed to be really huge (one of the biggest in India, I'm told) and will hold untold volumes of wisdom. The temporary library we had was also pretty good. It had magazines ranging from digit for the technology-freak to the Harvard Business review for the enterprising CEL-man. You will find textbooks and reference books galore and many works of fiction on its hallowed shelves. You will also come face-to-face with an irate librarian if you do anything bad in the library, so be careful. What else is to be described? Oh, the campus is a ways off from the main city, so you might only be able to get out on weekends. That's not too bad, though. Just a short ways off from the Campus we have a four-star resort called “Alankrita” and a really good Dhaba called “Viceroy”. Since most basic needs can be met in the campus marketplace, you will have to venture towards the city for extras. That, however, is a non-issue. There is a special bus provided by the APSRTC to go from Secunderabad Station to the Campus and back. It runs more than ten times a day. Since Secunderabad Station is a transportation hub, there are no problems. If you manage to miss the bus, there are always buses willing to take you to the city from Thumkunta (the closest village). To get to Thumkunta, just pay an auto rickshaw 10 rupees (each) and hop off at the village. There you go. That covers everything which has been built and stuff that is still to come up. Except for one thing. The auditorium. It will be built soon, and when it is built, it will be the biggest auditorium of its kind in Asia. That is all I can say about it since the foundation stone was laid in the last week of April. The first batch of students will be graduating this academic year, and we all wish them luck from the bottom of our hearts. We hope that you will be as integral to the college as they were (Don't count on it

though!) Savyasachee Jha Second Year Student BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus