Indian-origin couple in the US donate $1mn to alma mater BITS Pilani


For most of us, our college alma mater is a way to keep in touch with our long-lost friends and the institution that shaped us.

But for an India-origin couple in the US, their alma mater, BITS Pilani, means more than just a nostalgic connection.

Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS) Pilani, one of India’s premier engineering and science institute, has announced that it received a USD 1 million pledge from a US-based alumni couple for its campus program, the largest individual donation ever received by the institution.

The couple, Prashanth and Anuradha Palakurthi, made the announcement on Friday, January 1, during the ruby anniversary celebrations of Prashanth’s 1978-83 batch.

The college holds a special place for Prashanth and Anuradha, as they first met and fell in love with each other while studying there.

Speaking at the gala event commemorating 40 years of his entry to BITS Pilani, Prashanth said that “we wanted to give back to our alma mater which gave us so much and where we started our journey.”

Adding to this, his wife Anuradha said, “We hope our contribution is followed up by many more from the hugely successful alumni.”

Speaking at the event, Prof Souvik Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani, termed the announcement by the couple as a “momentous and a game-changing gesture”.

He further added that, “With this pledge, BITS Pilani is launching a campaign to set up Rs 100 crore research endowment fund. This fund will help provide an additional thrust to research by way of attracting research-driven faculty, post-doctoral fellows and research scholars.”

“I believe Prashanth and Anuradha have started a brilliant endeavor to propel BITS Pilani to the next level; I understand they will continue to support and I invite other eminent Alumni to support us in our efforts,” Bhattacharyya said at the event.

Prashanth Palakurthi is the Founder and CEO of US-based Reflexis Systems, and his wife Anuradha, the founder of Juju Productions, is a professional singer and radio personality in the United States.

The 54-year-old institution operates from four campuses – Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad, and Dubai – and features in the prestigious international and national ranking.