BITS 98 BATCH FUND
Goal INR 2.5 Cr
Empower women in BITS: Create a lasting legacy
Nurturing a legacy
As we get ready for a memorable reunion in November, let’s relive all the moments that made our journey through BITS Pilani so… uniquely epic. From the anticipation of getting there to the curiosity to explore. From learning by living and making mistakes. From forging enduring friendships to uncovering our true selves. We all left BITS with 333031 in our DNA, proud to be part of an institution that stands for the pursuit of excellence.
25 years on, much like our personal and professional lives, BITS too is evolving. The core tenets that we remember remain consistent. The undergraduate program continues to attract top talent from across the country enabled by excellent faculty, course structure, electives, industry training, all bound by an underlying emphasis on merit.
Yet, amidst our achievements, BITS Pilani faces a formidable challenge as it now stands at the 25th position in India's college rankings. This dip can be attributed to various factors, including research efforts, competition from tier 1 and 2 institutions, better living conditions, proximity to home, and more affordable fees. However, a central issue lies in the striking decline of the gender ratio. Today, the number of women at the institute is nearly half of what it once was during our era! While BITS continues to excel in entrepreneurship and research, its strength can only be magnified by fostering gender equity. Without inclusive female participation, we can't truly harness the institution's full potential.
Proportion of female students among all population at BITS today
Empowering women - why it matters and priorities for BITS
Proportion of women enrolled in STEM in India across Under and Post Graduate, Mphil and PHD programmes
(Source: data from the All India Survey of Higher Education for 2020-21)
The National Science Foundation reports that women make up only 14% of the total workforce in STEM fields in India, with potential to do significantly more, and this is attributed to absence of mentorship, scholarship and other resources plus working with families and communities to change attitudes towards girls in STEM.
With the demand for STEM professionals is set to grow exponentially in India, BITS has a unique opportunity to set new benchmarks by educating capable men and women from across backgrounds to contribute to India’s science and tech advancements. Ultimately, all of these contribute to increasing BITS ranking and sustaining its prestige that benefits students, alumni and staff.
Focusing on opportunities for greater participation from women across all levels - undergraduate, research led innovation, and faculty delivers multiple direct benefits. It attracts more top female talent at the undergraduate level by making it more comfortable and affordable for families to send their girls to Pilani, a remote town. It strengthens BITS’ leadership in research driven entrepreneurship. It sets an example for professional achievement in faculty.
Here is a chance to imprint our legacy! In close collaboration with BITSAA, we have identified the following three priorities that will deliver most impact:
Launch the inaugural “Batch of 1998 Female Faculty Excellence Award”
● Establishes a female-focused faculty recognition at BITS
● Promotes professional excellence, contribution to research and innovation and commitment to student scholar success
● Provides a greater voice to program design and role models for students
PHD Drive Fellowship for Women
● Elevates BITS' leadership in cutting-edge science and technology ventures led by PHD scholars
● Drives inclusive innovation across diverse disciplines to tackle society's most pressing challenges
● Enhances the quality and quantity of research results, both in academic research and intellectual property
Merit-cum-need scholarship for Women
● Empowers exceptional young women from under-served communities across India to make BITS their top choice.
● Offers financial assistance to make BITS Pilani's private institution tuition fees accessible.
● Promotes inclusive female engagement to assure families' confidence in sending their daughters to BITS
Here are some examples of students who have benefited from these scholarships previously.
Rishika Jain was the recipient of a 100% Scholarship recipient set up by 1986 Batch for each year she was in BITS. She has graduated and is currently working as Analyst at Goldman Sachs
How the 1998 batch gift fund helps
BITS Pilani is a merit-only institution, with no government or private grants funding its operations. As a self-sustained entity, student fees constitute the primary source of income for the Institute. Competitive research grants and alumni funding currently contribute to less than 10% of the total capital available to the institute to deploy across several high-priority initiatives including hiring and retention of top faculty, modernization and expansion of infrastructure, and investment in research facilities/activities. This puts a disproportionate burden on incoming students with ever-growing fee structure (current cost of attending BITS is around INR 5 lacs per annum).
Sustained, ongoing support from alumni can go a long way in alleviating this financial burden. To put this into perspective, top universities in the United States have billions of dollars in endowments, mostly built up through alumni contributions. Each year, about 55% of all alumni give back to their universities. Giving back now is a step in the right direction, for BITS and for us.
As some of us get ready to take that journey back to campus, whether you’re joining us in person or in spirit, we ask for your help in creating an enduring legacy through the 1998 batch gift fund.
What impact does INR 2.5 CR / ~USD 300,000 deliver for BITS?
We aim to structure the 1998 Batch Fund as a perpetual endowment. Once we make our batch gift, BITS will own management of the funds and will invest this money in safe fixed deposits. The interest earned on this will provide ~INR 16 lacs (at 8% interest rate) every year to be deployed towards the goals mentioned above, through the inaugural Batch of 1998 Female Faculty Excellence Award, , PHD Drive Fellowship for Women and Merit- cum-need scholarship for Women.
All contributions in India and the United States are tax deductible. Please check to see if your company makes a matching contribution as this is a great way to increase the impact of what you give.
How much should I give?
We're reaching out to our entire 1998 batch, seeking your support to achieve our ambitious gift target. With approximately 600 individuals in our batch, we understand that not everyone can contribute the same amount, and personal circumstances vary. While we're setting an initial benchmark of approx. INR 25,000 per person, we hope some among us will make significantly larger contributions, and appreciate any amount, no matter how modest, from those who may face limitations.
For those unable to attend the reunion, we kindly request you to consider contributing a portion of your travel and participation costs as well.
Our cause gains profound significance when we join hands, each giving what we can. Let's open our hearts and give generously to our beloved Alma Mater, BITS Pilani, the institution that has shaped us into the capable and compassionate individuals we've become. Let’s leave a lasting legacy.
If you have further questions or suggestions, please refer FAQs (that will be updated ongoing) or reach us at: email@example.com
98 batch gift fund team: Nihal George , Ramya Aroul , Aarti Mohan , Rathish Balakrishnan, Bala Gopalasamy , Prerna Goel
Steps for Payment (please carefully follow the instructions)
Add "Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani" as Beneficiary while transferring, mention the "1998 Batch Class Gift" as "Payment Remarks" or "Description". In case of any query please write to firstname.lastname@example.org