Privatized higher education in India is a comparatively new phenomenon. Till the 1980s, higher education was under government control. Privatization came in with the new economic policies of liberalization and globalization since the 1990s.
It is only in the new millennium that higher education has witnessed phenomenal growth of the private sector. In 2005, there were only 15 private universities in the country. On December 2015, there were 225 private universities as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) list.
This growth means more options for higher education. But it also implies choice has become more difficult. This article offers insights about one of the premium private institutions of science and technology: the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani.
There are several BITS campuses in different locations across India. There’s one in Dubai as well. This article is a guide to the BITS campus at Pilani, Rajasthan.
Bits of BITS History
The institute got established way back in 1901 as a village school with just one teacher. The founder merely aimed to get his two grandsons educated. By the time India gained independence in 1947, the school had evolved into an institution offering postgraduate programs.
Its inception as BITS Pilani dates back to 1964. It is currently a deemed university. It is also one of the six ‘Institutes of Eminence’ declared by the UGC in 2018.
What the Institute Offers
BITS Pilani currently offers three different levels of academic degrees: bachelor, master, and doctorate. The institute provides integrated first degrees in Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) with honors and Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.) with honors, Master of Science (M.Sc.) with honors and Master of Science (Technology).
Higher degrees offered include Master of Engineering (M.E.), Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm.) and Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.). Doctoral programs have three variants: on-campus Ph.D., off-campus Ph.D., and part-time Ph.D.
Reviews and Ratings
Why should one review an ‘Institute of Eminence’? For one, it pays to know what it means to be such an institute. Also, it is practical to scan reviews and ratings by users, beyond the government tag.
As per UGC notifications, an institute of eminence means the quality of higher education offered is of international standards. However, there are some indicators in ratings by students and alumni. One site gives BITS Pilani an overall ranking of 4.3 stars based on 379 reviews.
Markers include curriculum and faculty, infrastructure, crowd and campus life, placements, and value for money. The highest rating is for infrastructure at 4.4 stars. The lowest rating is four stars for curriculum and faculty. This invites deeper probing.
BITS Pilani is certainly an institute to try for. But you need to be ready to spend about 15 lakhs for a four-year course. Average placement packages range between Indian Rupees 12-15 LPA.