BITS Pilani receives $1 million pledge from Indian American alumni couple Prashanth and Anuradha Palakurthi
Prashanth and Anuradha Palakurthi, the US-based Indian Americans and the alumni of premier engineering and science institute, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani have donated $1 million for its campus programmes, the largest individual donation received, said a statement issued by the Institute.
Anuradha Palakurthi and her husband Prashanth, the US based entrepreneurs and alumni of BITS Pilani contributing $1 million pledge to their alma matter. Photo: Facebook.
While taking part at the Ruby Anniversary on November 16-17, 2018, the couple made the announcement, where in excess of 200 alumni of the batch converged from all parts of the globe in order to relive their campus memories in the desert town of Pilani in the north Indian state of Rajasthan. Prashant belongs so the 1978-83 batch.
Reacting to the contribution of its alumni members, Prof Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice Chancellor of BITS Pilani said, “Anuradha’s contribution is momentous and a game changing gesture indeed. With this pledge, we at BITS Pilani is initiating a campaign to establish a Rs.100 crore Research Endowment fund, which should eventually would boost research in terms of attracting research driven faculty, post doctoral fellows and research scholars. What is more, the donation will also help provide seed fund support to new faculty and further help establish advanced research laboratories in order to fund the institutional research projects.” Stating that he believed Prashanth and Anuradha had initiated a great gesture to take BITS Pilani to the next level, Prof Battacharyya said expressed his confidence that the couple would further continue to support, while appealing to all other alumni members so go all out and contribute, taking cue from this couple.
Palakurthi is the Founder and CEO of US-based Reflexis Systems, and his spouse Anuradha, the founder of Juju Productions, is a professional singer and radio personality in the US. Speaking at the glittering event commemorating 40 years of his entry to BITS Pilani, Prashanth said that the couple wanted to give back to their alma mater which gave them so much and where they started their journey. Anuradha, who joined BITS Pilani way back in 1984, said her alma matter has needs in a slew of areas including infrastructure and research. “We hope our contribution is followed up by many more from the family of hugely successful alumni, ” Anuradha pointed out. Furthermore, Anuradha also performed JuJu Prouctions’ first live show, “Desert Storm”, accompanied by a 42-member musical band from Bollywood.
Prof AK Sarkar, Campus Director, BITS Pilani, while lauding the magnanimous gesture from the couple said that Research Endowment Fund would be instrumental for the Institute’s sojourn to pursue its plans for Institute of Eminence (IoE), going forward.
Prof Arya Kumar, Dean Alumni Relations also opined that the gesture by Prashant and Anuradha was a corroboration about the love and emotional bonding that BITSians across the globe have for their alma mater. “The couple’s contribution would go a long way in inspiring other alumni to give back to BITS in tangible and intangible ways”, Sarkar added. It may be recalled that BITS Pilani was conferred the ‘Institute of Eminence (IoE)’ status as early as July this year by the Union government alongside IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay. The Institute operates from four campuses at Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai and features in prestigious international and national ranking such as QS Asia ranking. Last, but certainly not the least, BITS Pilani recently entered the elite the World top 500 ranks when it was positioned 401-500 in the THE 2019 Subject Ranking for Life Sciences.