Launching of Journey of the Pioneers MMS Class of 1971-76 Triggers BITSians Day Celebrations Worldwide
The first Friday of August every year along with the accompanying weekend is BITSian Day celebrations for all alumni spread across all continents of the world of Institution of Eminence Birla Institute of Technology and Science – BITS Pilani. Every year the celebrations have some uniqueness and this year is no different. The MMS Class of 1971-76 of BITS Pilani have not some uniqueness but a whole lot of it. They decided to assemble their own memoirs spread over the 50 years span from 1971 – 2021 into a coffee table book which is exclusively for each of their batchmates.
Launching of Journey of the Pioneers MMS Class of 1971-76 Triggers BITSians Day Celebrations Worldwide
The editorial team for this mission with passion included Indrajit Sen (Injy), Prabhat Rao, Manoj Agarwal and Rohit Jain. They went about systematically tracking each of their MMS mate who were in every corner of the globe applying James Bond tricks and Agatha Christie strategies. The idea took off during the pandemic in April 2020 over a zoom meet. It took 14 months on the computer and countless hours on the phone to collect from each batchmate all the nostalgia starting from the summer of 1971.
Deciphering handwritten notes which were scanned and sent as whatsapp attachments was no ordinary task. Even though one of their batchmates RK Lunia was no more, still they got a sentiment packed note from his son. They also reached out to the faculty members who had taught them to collect fond memories. The structure of the coffee table book itself called for intense debate amongst the editors and we did agree that the reunions that followed should find place in recognition of lasting friendships which have endured the test of time.
Originally it was planned for about 30 pages but ultimately it came out to be 96 pages. It carries intricate details about the critical years at BITS 73-74-75 during which many a things happened which had far reaching consequences in the evolution of the education excellence at BITS which focused on integrated interdisciplinary approach across all programs. The campus life covered Connaught market place, Nutan Bus stand and the unforgettable rehdiwals, the elegant Volga restaurant, the auditorium movies, the museum lawn English - Hindi dramas and not to forget the Jayashree talkies in Pilani town.
This batch played a stellar role in establishing the Oasis as an All India cultural festival. The rebel movement in 1973-74 - which is always attributed to this batch was responsible for getting student representations and responsibilities right from the Institute Senate to managing the hostels and the mess system as well as sports and other activity clubs and administrative committees.
In a glittering virtual function on the evening of 05 August 2021, the book was launched. Prof RN Saha acting Vice Chancellor unveiled the book along with the batch representatives Manoj Agarwal and Indrajit Sen. Other officers of BITS and management department faculty members also graced the function. Batchmates Prabhat Rao, Harsh Kothari, Rajive Bajpai and C Jeykaran also shared fond memories and experiences. For sure this is going to motivate other batches also to come up with their version of coffee table book.
For more on BITSAA see https://www.bitsaa.org
Prof BR Natarajan
BITS Pilani Alumnus
C/o Jamuna Mishra Academy – JMA
Pilani, Rajasthan India 333031
About BITSAA: BITS Alumni Association (BITSAA) has emerged as one of the strongest alumni networks of any university. BITSAA International engages in charitable and educational activities by raising funds for setting up endowments, creating scholarships, rewarding teaching and research and generally promoting the development of resources at Birla Institute of Technology and Science at Pilani, Dubai, Goa & Hyderabad campuses. BITSAA International also aims to strengthen the ties, friendship and communication amongst former students, alumni faculty and friends of the Institute. BITSAA International provides a number of channels for people to stay connected with each other and with Birla Institute of Technology & Science. Notable other alumni initiatives for BITS Pilani include Prof SSR Memorial Teaching Excellence Award, Atma Nirbara multi crore Pilani Resource Centre by 75-80 batch alumni, Prashant Anuradha Palakurthi Research Endowment and many more. For more on BITSAA see https://www.bitsaa.org
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