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BITS Pilani, allows 1 year off to Build Startup

A great step to boost startup culture in India, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani said this will allow students and faculty members to take up to a year off to start their own Startups and businesses, which appears to be an encouraging step to boost entrepreneurship in India.

“In case student intends to take a year off to pursue a full-time business, his request would be sent to the Dean for approval…,” said a policy document shared by BITS with its students.

The BITS faculty members will also support with the basics of startup building and planning to guide students to begin with their Business Ideas.

With this move, BITS also takes over the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), which continue to dominate the country’s startup and unicorn ecosystems. Moneycontrol had earlier reported that at least one founder of more than 73 of India’s 100-plus unicorns hails from one of the country’s 23 IITs.

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Meanwhile, BITS Pilani alumni have founded more than 900 startups, with more than 13 of them making it to the list of Indian unicorns, including Zeta, MPL, Swiggy, BigBasket and Groww, according to Tracxn Technologies data. Hari Menon of Big Basket, Sriharsha Majety of Swiggy and Phanindra Sama of RedBus are BITS alumni.

The institute recently came up with the ‘BITS Innovation and Startup Policy 2022’, which would “guide in setting resource plans to achieve the institute’s entrepreneurial goals and give impetus to startups and other businesses founded and co-founded by BITSians in India and across the globe.”

Interestingly, the document also allows students who run businesses to use their institute address to register their company with proper permission. This facility is available to students whose businesses have been funded and incubated by PIEDS (Pilani Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development Society), the official technology-entrepreneurship incubator of BITS Pilani.

Don’t miss out, the policy says students can also earn credits for working on innovative prototypes and business models.

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The policy also allows faculty members to take up to a year off to start their own company. “Faculty members may take sabbatical or special leave or earned leave for a maximum period of one year as per applicable Faculty Affairs Department (FAD) rules and may be permitted to work full-time for commencement,” the policy document said.

From an opt-out policy and various incubation pathways to a deferred placement policy and early graduation programme, BITS Pilani’s progressive innovative approach to technical education has long been talked about. Students believe that the new policy renews the entrepreneurial vision of BITS.

“Deferred internships only help if you are starting in your final year, but the option of taking a year off would help all students. I think the new policy is a way to structurally and proactively enable entrepreneurship on campus,” said Utkarsh Choudhary, a third-year student at BITS and the current head of Conquest, India’s first student startup accelerator, powered by BITS, Pilani.

The new policy would also help maintain uniformity in various policies and processes across BITS Pilani campuses, according to the document.

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