Celebrating the success of BITSians’ Day 2017!

The beginning of August is close to every BITSian. It not only marks the beginning of the semester and ghoting for  the CDCs but an occasion which acts as strengthening factor for all BITSians , the BITSians’ Day.  BITSians’ Day started in 2013 and has come a long way since then becoming grand every year.

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BITSians’ Day 2017 was celebrated on 4th August around the world. The celebration venues were announced with a unique Game of Thrones themed map to create zest among the BITSians .

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On this day, BITSians came together in more than 200 locations all over the world to connect with their fellow alumni and re-live their BITSian memories. BITSians’ Day was also celebrated across the BITS campuses. Apart from the celebrations planned in specific cities, this entire weekend witnessed several impromptu meetups in offices, universities and neighborhoods, and an outpouring of the BITSian spirit.

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But BITSians also proved that BITS will always rule their heart, with or without a huge celebration. Whether it was a peek into the BITSians’ Day celebration in the armed forces, a lone BITSian in Nairobi, a BITSian at Tesla celebrating with a drive or an inspiring message from Campbell Island, Great Nicobar, the day witnessed BITSians utilizing the power of social media to connect to their Alma mater and alumni.

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On the Social Media Platforms, there has been huge increase in responses from BITSians across the globe this year. Twitter impressions increased by 200% whereas Facebook posts showed remarkable 280% increase from 2016. For increased engagement on social media, BITSAA launched “Back2BITS Weeks”- contests on social media for every week leading up to BITSians’ Day lasting for around one and a half  months. The initial events were focused on sharing memories from the BITSian life like their Hangout places, food they ate at BITS and their customs and traditions which provided a Social media outburst from BITSians from all decades.

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The later campaigns were more personalized, and focused on individual experiences and expectations. Meet Your Alumni event aimed at connecting the BITSians Alumni with the other BITSians for guidance and help, and received a spectacular 500 responses.  Most of the BITSians seeking help have already been matched to their mentors, enabling them to resolve their queries regarding their future endeavors. The BITSian Heroes event brought forth the stories about how a person from his/her BITSian life has been helpful and built a special bond. In the last week, quiz related to everyday life of BITSians was organized on social media. A prelude to BITSians’ Day video was also launched and struck a chord with BITSians.

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News platforms – The Hindu and Inshorts covered the success of BITSians’ Day this year.

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This BITSians’ Day, BITSAA also launched the annual magazine , ‘The BITsian’ with the theme ‘BITS Then and Now’ . The magazine features interviews from Directors of all the campuses from BITS Pilani, highlighting how BITS has grown and  changed over the years.  It encompasses stories across a gamut of its alumni and topics. from life of the first BITS batch of  1946 to more recent stories like lifting of the curfew from BITS Girls’ hostel which set a precedent for the country. The magazine can be read here: https://issuu.com/bitsaa/docs/bits_then_and_now

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A 36-Hour group fundraising campaign- The BITSians’ Day giving campaign was  organized as a run up to BITSians’ Day and the two biggest groups got to dedicate 10% of the ENTIRE amount raised to a BITSian cause of their choice.

And finally, as BITSians Day dawned, several BITSians put up small video clips as their Whatsapp Statuses and Facebook stories to show solidarity as a BITSian family, which further contributed to the BITSians’ Day frenzy.

Needless to say, the event was a huge success. BITSians’ Day concluded in a spectacular manner, and looking forward for more amazing experiences the next year.

Meet BITSians in Sports: BITS2Fitness Thirteenth Interview: Sneha Mehta (BITS-Hyd’14)

#MeetBitsiansInSports

Our 13th Interviewee for “Meet the BITSians in Sports” series is Sneha Mehta(2009B4A7PS639H).

Sneha served as the Sports Secretary(Girls) in Bits Pilani Hyderabad for the academic year 2012-2013 batch. She was also the team captain for girl’s basketball team in Spree(Bits Goa’s Annual Sports Meet). She has co-organized Bits Pilani Hyderabad’s first ever sports meet, Arena in 2012. Currently pursuing her PhD in Data Mining at Virginia Tech, Sneha shares her fitness story with us..

Name : Sneha Mehta

BITS ID : 2009B4A7PS639H

Q. What motivated you to pursue fitness in the first place?

When I was very young, my mom made me join a nearby Basketball coaching center. As I grew up, I became really good and passionate about it. Eventually I got selected to represent my district in multiple state level championships. Good performance in one of those championships got me selected to represent my state of Maharashtra in a national level championship that was to be held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.  This tournament was memorable as we defeated the then defending champions Chhattisgarh in extra time at semi-finals and finally went on to win the championship by defeating the home team. This win was special because Maharashtra girls hadn’t won a gold in 13 years. This experience motivated me even further and I continued playing semi-professional basketball until 12th grade. Along with that, in school, I was part of the local NCC battalion and went on several camps. One of them was especially memorable because it was a one month national trekking camp and I got exposure to real camping in the wild. So I’ve been athletic from a very young age and fitness has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Q. What are the sports/activities you are involved in and how did you
get into playing these sports?

I got introduced to Basketball at a very young age. Being good at Basketball gave me an an advantage in picking up the basics of other sports quickly. So in the 9th grade, I was the vice-captain of my school’s Throwball team that represented Vidarbha in National Throwball Championship held in Thane, Mumbai. Besides that I also played Volleyball and Shot put in school representing my ‘house’. In college, I’ve mostly spent time playing Basketball and we formed a team that represented our campus at Spree 2011 (BITS Goa Sports Fest). We lost the semi-finals to the home team by a whisker in a nail-biting encounter. I’ve also been involved in administrative activities pertaining to sports in college and was elected as a sports secretary for the year 2012-2013. After graduating, I’ve mostly played badminton (I had taken a bit of a badminton coaching when I was still in college) and Table Tennis. I was also into long distance running (mostly 10K). My best timing for 10K was 55 mins. A couple of years back I joined grad school as a PhD student. Here, I’m involved in badminton, Table Tennis and Wallyball ( a fun version of Volleyball played on a squash court and you’re allowed to bounce the ball off the walls!). I’ve played intra-university badminton, singles and mixed doubles tournaments here for two years. In 2015, I was the 1st runner-up in singles and our team was the 2nd runner-up in mixed doubles and in 2016 our team was the first runner-up in mixed doubles.

Q. How often do you engage in each of them? Any routine you follow?

I engage in the activities mentioned above 2-3 times a week or as often as my schedule allows me too.  There’s no specific routine, but I make it a point to not let a week pass by without some form of physical activity. Usually I hit the gym 4-5 days a week, at gym I do 40 min cardio (15 mins warm up followed by 25 mins interval training) , weight training and abs workout. Or I opt to run for 5kms.

Q. Were you actively involved in any sports activity in BITS? Any particular memory from BITS that motivated you to stay fit?

I was a part of the initial batches of BITS Hyderabad. The campus construction was still underway and we didn’t have SAC or basketball courts or any of those equipment as you know it today. So some of us juniors along with our seniors used to go to the city to play basketball. I think those times were really memorable and helped us really bond with the seniors and motivated us to continue the incredible sports legacy of our seniors.

Q. How do you manage to spare time for these activities while working full time?  

Yes it’s hard to find time, but since I’ve always been involved in some kind of physical activity it’s hard for me to let a week pass by without any activity. So I always manage to somehow squeeze in time for those activities.

Q. Do you take special care of your diet in everyday life?

No I don’t follow a specific diet, but I make sure that whatever I eat is reasonably healthy. I try to minimize sugar in-take, try to stay away from deep-fried stuff, try to have a variety in my diet so that I get as many nutrients as possible.

Q. Finally, what would be your advice to the BITSian community to stay
fit and healthy?

There are countless proofs that physical activity does good for you in long term and in your day to day life. So I would advice students/alumni to get involved in any kind of sports/physical activity, it not only improves your physique/health but also fosters certain personality traits that might be useful in the future in any kind of career you would want to pursue/pursuing.

Interviewed By : Praharshitha KV(2011A7PS019H)

Fiction to Reality : Hyperloop India

Hello BITSians,

BITSAA feels proud to announce the success of the Hyperloop India Team. Last year SpaceX developed a one-mile test track and CEO Elon Musk launched a worldwide challenge for engineering students to build pod vehicles to race on this track and to test out the concept for a new mode of transport he had proposed, called the Hyperloop. Undergraduate students from BITS Pilani took up Musk’s challenge and built team Hyperloop India. After multiple rounds and design reviews, Hyperloop is the first and only team from India and one of the two from Asia selected to build. The team will be racing their pod on the SpaceX track in August 2017.

India and the world stands a chance to witness the prowess of engineering at BITS Pilani, as the students roll out India’s first indigenously built, safe, scalable and feasible Hyperloop pod prototype. The OrcaPod, one of its kind, will be amongst the lightest and the fastest pods that will blaze the track built by SpaceX at its HQ in California.

The team needs your support. Team Hyperloop India has started a crowdfunding campaign to help them successfully utilize the power of the community to help them build, ship and race their pod on the SpaceX track in August 2017 in this restrictive timeline.

BITSAA feels extremely proud of Hyperloop team for coming this far. We urge The BITSian family to help them go the last mile!

Come and pledge your support to be a part of the movement! The campaign is live at Hyperloop Fundraiser
You can also check out the following links for more info on Hyperloop India.

*This fundraising link on Ketto has been set up by the Hyperloop team and all payment related questions, including issuance of receipts should be addressed to them directly on info@hyperloopindia.in 

BITSian Heroes : Heartfelt Thanksgiving

Dear BITSians,

This week, BITSAA is giving you an opportunity to share the stories which made one of your fellow BITSians your hero. Previously, we shared two amazing experiences and we are bringing three more similar heartwarming stories for you.

BITSian Hero: Dr. Ananth C Kulkarni
by Bharath K Bhat

“Getting an opportunity in BITS itself is a turning point in my life, no two ways about it. This was a true present to me and this present had many packets of items in it. Some of which are: 1. A great campus with a beautiful view. 2. A Great Hostel facility (I got a room with a great view #333, CH-2). 3. A great Canteen Staff who took personal care of me, which made me feel ‘At-Home’. 4. Great Faculty, Prof. B.J.C Babu is the one I would like to mention for his ability to impart knowledge in subjects which were the CRUX of M.E-Design Engineering and his teachings which if felt like “”Neem””” then is useful even today like a medicine solving almost all technical problems. 5. BITS-Goa Medical Staff receives a SPECIAL MENTION in my life.

Dr. Ananth.C.Kulkarni, is the person whom I respect personally because he was more of a Guru to me; he taught me great values in professional life which I can never forget. He has taught me Engineering Tribology and later have completed my Masters Thesis under him in Bio-Tribology. My thesis later helped me get my Research Scholar position in Biomechanics at Manipal University. It was he who suggested me to go for PhD instead of a Faculty Position & later guided me through different decisions in my professional life.
Dr. Hemanth Kumar, Dr. Rakesh Mote, Dr. Shibu Clement, Dr. Rama Kumar are other faculties in whom I have immense respect.

BITSian Hero: K.Dhanaraja
by Gauri Mittal

“I was perhaps the first student from my city ‘Mathura’ to get admission into BITS-Pilani. And hence I didn’t know much about how things worked at Pilani – how easy or difficult was it to get a dual, a transfer, what CGPA was a good CGPA, how do people choose electives.etc We didn’t have Quora, Facebook then 😉 . All we had seniors who were always ready to help. But given my extremely shy and introvert nature, it wasn’t easy for seniors to help me as I wouldn’t approach them.
But K.Dhanaraja (k) was (and actually ‘is’) an exception. He is from Chennai and what connected us was ‘604’ – our BITSian ids. Yes, he is my id POP – a concept I haven’t heard of in any other college till now 🙂 . I still remember how scared I was when I met him & his friends for the first time. He told me that I can always write to him for doubts related to academics &for the kind of person I am writing instead of talking makes my life simple. I don’t know how many mails did I write to him in the first year – I would seek his advice every time I thought I had spoiled my test and he would tell me how is it ok since the average itself will go down; I would ask him how to prepare for those subjects which were supposed to be difficult (ThermoD, MechSol) and he would advise. All my emails were answered in a few hours, although we didn’t have internet connections to our rooms back then. We hardly met in my first year after the first meeting – he was a devoted ‘Art n D’ member & I was busy with academics but I always knew he is just a mail away. He also helped me choose between CS (the most sought after) and EEE (my personal preference) & I have never regretted my choice.
I am still in touch with him – and guess what 😉 – I approached him with a question related to job last year – and he did get back 🙂 (albeit not in a few hours)
So kd – if you read this – thanks for being such an awesome senior. It’s not always that one gets a chance to express one’s heartfelt gratitude.”

BITSian Hero: NSS School Kids
by Divya Chirania

“Kids, they say are the purest thing in the world. I truly realized this thing when I applied as a volunteer for NSS. It won’t be exaggerated if I say it was one of the best decisions of my Bitsian life. Despite not being from affluent background they seemed to be the happiest people in their world & my own problems appeared so insignificant. Respect which they used to give was enormous.There were always smiling faces which were eager to share their school stories.Asking about their day was my favorite.It was like revisiting my childhood. While teaching , it struck me how many things I have taken for granted. Probably that’s how it is.We do not realize the worth of something if it comes easily.And then there are these kids who are happy with the mere presence of a teacher.At times I used to feel it is not me who comes to teach but the other way around. “While we try to teach children all about life , they teach us what life is all about.”- Angela Schwindt”

We urge you all to bring out the Hidden Heroes from your BITSian life, who have made a difference in your life, and  share your story with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with hashtags:  #BITSAA  #BITSiansDay #BITSHeroes by 23rd July 2017. Alternatively, you can also fill out this form to send your story. We will feature the best stories on our social media channels and BITSAA blog.

  

Unraveling the Stories of BITSian Heroes

Dear BITSians,

This week, BITSAA is giving you an opportunity to share the experiences which made one of your fellow BITSians  your hero. We are unraveling the stories which might have got buried in the sands of time. Today, we bring to you two of the amazing stories we received- one has been shared with us by by Arpit Agrawal (BITS, Pilani – Pilani Campus) and the other by a student of BITS, Pilani – Goa Campus.

BITSian Hero: Dr. G Raghurama Sir
by Arpit Agrawal

“The first chance to know of Sir was in 3rd year when he came to our common room inviting feedback. Unusual to such meetings he had brought the entire team along. Not just that all suggestions were being noted down by the respective staff member. I found myself lucky for a leader with such an active participation. My friends told that right from the moment of joining Sir took it as personal duty. Once it so happened that I heard of a fellow going through a personal problem. I wrote to Sir as helping him required administrative support. As a happy surprise, he gave us time promptly, the mail was replied at 4 AM. Similarly he once helped me with an administrative formality which was facing resistance otherwise.

In all, though I am quite young to appreciate a senior BITS authority yet I feel he will always make BITS ecosystem a brighter place.”

BITSian Hero: Dhilbhar Roshan
by Anonymous

“Not a story but just a small incident. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at present which was diagnosed as depression in college days. In the last sem in CH1, there was a particularly difficult week when I was severely depressed and couldn’t get out of bed. Infused with alcohol and drugs, going out of the room was impossible and I’d been hungry for a couple of days. I was virtually trapped. Also, couldn’t disclose this condition to anyone as I didn’t want questions.

Dhilbhar lived in my corridor. As a last resort, I sort of asked him to get some food. I had no money. I think he saw my situation. He didn’t ask any questions. He simply got me food. I can’t tell you how big the gesture was for someone in that condition.”

We urge you all to bring out the Hidden Heroes from your BITSian life, who have made a difference in your life, and  share your story with us  on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with hashtags: #BITSAA #BITSiansDay #BITSHeroes by 22nd July 2017. Alternatively, you can also fill out this form to send your story. We will feature the best stories on our social media channels and BITSAA blog.