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PRACTICE SCHOOL

Practice School

Practice School Program provides students an opportunity to Practice what they have learnt, in marque Organizations under the supervision of a mentor. Students work on cutting-edge technologies and could choose to Practice in their own discipline of study or cross-discipline areas. This flagship program not only nurtures students to work in roles needing multi-functional skills but also provides them an opportunity to secure a PPO.

Practice School-I is an eight-week course conducted during the summer term after the second year of study. Students are stationed in an organization during this program and after a comprehensive orientation, students largely learn through observation and work on group projects, under the guidance and mentorship of industry experts and a faculty member from BITS. This not only serves as a first exposure for students to the corporate world, but also helps in nurturing their personality traits, communication, and presentation skills.

Practice School-II offered in the final year of study is a TWENTY-TWO weeks’ full-time program. First Degree students in their final year of study, can register for this either during the first semester or second semester and Dual Degree students can register for a double semester PS-II program. For Higher Degree students, the course is titled Practice School and such students can register for this in their final semester of study.

While students can opt for this program and give their preferences of the company where they wish to Practice, the allotment of students to a particular company follows a merit-based allotment process.

Students get the opportunity to practice what they have learned, by working on live projects, under the supervision of industry experts and faculty members of BITS. This program provides students the opportunity to put theory to Practice, work on cutting-edge technologies, understand the company work culture, and hone their behavioral skills. About 80% of the participating companies are long-term partners who depend on BITSians to build their talent pool. This speaks for itself about the performance of our students, which in turn, is in part due to our curriculum and the stress on all-round development.

PS II – Higher Degree Programmes

Higher Degree students will have the option to do Practice School in the final semester of the degree programme, along the lines of PS-II for First Degree students. Upon the completion of the Practice School, students may be available for full-time employment as well.

Collaborating Organizations

The Institute only rewards merit and students gaining admissions have a proven academic track record. Added to this is our rich curriculum and state of the art infrastructure. Further students are provided ample opportunities to participate in curricular, as well as, extracurricular activities, thus contributing to their overall development. This is what makes BITS, Pilani a preferred destination for companies interested in providing Practice opportunities to students.

Practice School Statistics

Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani introduced the PS programme in 1973 for all disciplines across the Institute, with 12 students and 4 faculty members at HINDALCO, Renukoot. Today about 3800 students cutting across all three Indian campuses, practice at about 500plus companies, large and small, with participation from 100 faculty members. The average stipend is Rs. 40,000  and about 30% of the practicing students get a Placement opportunity too at the host organization

Voice of Stakeholders

Over the last four decades`, Practice School, an educational innovation seeking to link industry experience with university instruction, has proven to be a win-win for all the three major stakeholders viz. the student, the partnering company and the Institute.  In a nut shell, companies make use of the Practice School opportunity to meet their demand for high quality talent for short to mid-term duration projects, students make use of this opportunity to apply what they have learnt and the Institute benefits by the partnership in keeping their curricula current and enriched. 

PS Empanelment

Keeping the learning outcomes of the program in mind, the Institute has an empanelment process for new companies to become Practice School Partners. 

Aspiring organizations can reach out to the contacts provided under the contact section. Key information about the company is collected and reviewed based on which the company is empaneled as a Practice School partner.

The participating organization can then send information regarding the required number of students, the disciplines/areas desired, if any, the skill sets required, facilities offered such as stipend, and any other relevant information. The same is made available to students for their preferences. Finally, students are allotted to the organizations after matching requirements with the students' background, keeping their preferences and merit in view.

(a) PS I conducted in the summer following the second year (when the students would have had their common foundation courses (very strong in breadth and depth here at BITS) plus a few other courses. this is principally exposure oriented although there is also a project component.

(b) PS II, for five and a half months (July - Dec and Jan - Jun) in the final year of study. This is totally project based, the student works in a group on live projects in the industry.

Both of these are courses, (integral to the degree programmes), which are evaluated by our faculty, and where the students earn credits. Practice School is optional but almost 100% of the students opt for it.We depute our faculty to monitor and evaluate the students, and to ensure that the rigour and seriousness of the programme is maintained, and that the students put in their best efforts.

The option is also available in the Higher Degree (postgraduate) programs,where it is a single course in the final semester, operated in the same fashion as PS II above.

We have successfully operated this educational process for over 50 years. We strive continuously to structure the programme such that it enhances, on the one hand the learning acquired by the students, and on the other, the contribution they are able to make towards developmental activities in the host organization. This is an academic mission for BITS, Pilani.

PS-II

PS-II FAQ

What does Practice School-II mean and how does it differ from Practice School-I?

Criterion PS I PS II
Objective Exposure oriented. Students' first exposure to industry Project/ discipline based. Transition from student life to professional life.
Duration 8 weeks 5.5 months
Units 5 Units 20 Units

Is there any dress code to be followed during Practice School-II Programme?

Yes. The student has to wear only formal dresses in the organization during PS-II programme.

What is the role of professional experts in PS?

Professional experts

  • Help the faculty in identifying project.
  • Guide the student in carrying out the project.
  • Along with PS faculty evaluates the performance of student.
  • Give feedback about progress of project work, performance of students in evaluation components.

Who will guide the students at PS-II?

Professional experts of host organization will help the students during PSII programme.

How many leaves can be granted during PS-II?

As per guidelines 100% attendance is necessary in PS Program. However in case of genuine cases student can take maximum of six leaves with prior permission and approval from PS-II faculty. Under those circumstances the student is required to compensate for the leave taken by working on holidays or overtime.

Do the organisations offer jobs?

Some of the organizations may offer job depending on the work done by the student.

What is the procedure for withdrawal from PS-II?

To withdraw from PSII, the student must send the application to Dean PS Division (addressed to Dean ARC) stating the reasons. This application must be forwarded by the PS faculty.

PS-II Laurels

Economic Times

Except BITS, Pilant no other educational inattiutton has Practice School arrangement

The Hindu

Selected Institution may be encouraged to introduce Practise School System like BITS, Pilani.

The Hindu

An outstanding experiment in the realm of industry - institution linkage has been going on for several years in Indian Companies. This is the Practice School Programme of Birla Institute of Technology and Science(BITS) located in Pilani, Rajasthan.

Financial Express

Practice School is First successful Indian experiment to build a bridge among university, industry and society.

Business Herald

BITS offers much better education than IIT's since the latter has to operate within a government strait-jacket leaving no room for Creativity & Experimentations.

PS-II Achievements
  • Combined PS-II operation for Pilani and Goa campuses was started in 2007
  • Combined PS-II operation for Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad campuses was successfully done for the first time in 2011
  • In 2011 around  2000 students and 65 faculty were successfully placed at 260 stations for the entire year.
  • The First PS station abroad  was opened in 1991, and now at least 3 foreign stations operate each year.
  • Average Stipend  is between Rs. 15600 across the disciplines with improvement seen in some stations each year
Overview

Evaluation Components

  • Diary - 5%
  • Observation - 15%
  • Project Report - 25%
  • Group Discussion - 25%
  • Quiz - 15%

Registration

The Practice School-II programme begins with the registration of students at their stations on the first day of the PS-II. This is like registration for courses on campus with the difference that the entire process is carried out at the off-campus PS-II station.

Orientation

An orientation programme is organized once the registration is over. The main objective of this is to familiarize students with the different facets of the organization and acquaint themselves to the nature of work done in different sections / departments of the organization.

Handout

Within a week of the registration, the PS faculty distributes handouts to all the students. A handout contains all the details of evaluation components with the dates on which these would be conducted.

Allotment of Projects

The orientation, which usually lasts for two weeks, is followed by allotment of projects from the ones listed in the problem bank. The professional expert from the host organization here acts as the consultant and guide. These projects are of direct relevance to the host organization. Therefore active involvement of professional experts assumes greater importance.

Evaluation

Throughout the PS-II programme the work of the students is closely monitored. The PS faculty conducts quizzes, group discussions, seminars and invites the professional expert's critical views on these evaluation components. These components enable the PS faculty to assess those latent attributes in students which do not normally surface in the class room. Observation and diary, for instance, enable the faculty to evaluate the student's total professional personality, his approach towards problem solving, and his ability to take initiatives, plan his work and meet the deadlines.

Feedback

Feedback constitutes a unique feature of the PS system of education because the aim of various components of evaluation is not merely to evaluate the students' various personality traits but to also help them in improving upon these traits. Therefore, after each component of evaluation has been conducted the PS faculty gives feed back to the students and discusses with them, how they can overcome their drawbacks as well as strengthen their strong points.

About Practice School-II

Concept

Practice School-II, of five and a half months duration, carrying twenty units credit, is operated round the year, from July to December and January to June. This facilitates a continuous stream of well-prepared students to work on developmental projects in industry.

Since the students participate in and contribute to live projects, they are supported by a stipend and/or other facilities such as accommodation, travel reimbursement, etc.

Aim

PS-II is directed towards providing an opportunity to students to experience the world of work, by participating in live projects in industry, even before they graduate. Apart from the academic benefits, this also serves to hone their problem solving skills, and build team spirit, initiative, and leadership skills, which makes the eventual transition to the professional world smoother and better.

Methodology

After a brief orientation, the students are involved directly in addressing the predefined problems (generally of multidisciplinary nature) of the host organization. The students are encouraged to work independently, under the technical guidance of a professional expert and the general guidance of the faculty. They are periodically required to defend the technical aspects of their work through written and oral presentations. Emphasis is laid on the importance of teamwork, development of leadership qualities, and the need for effective time management.

Planning Process

The first step in the planning process is to prepare the list of students who are to register in PS-II in each of the two sessions of the subsequent academic year. Interested dual degree students are likely to be permitted to pursue two semesters of PS-II. Higher Degree student may pursue PS in place of Dissertaion. The next step is to ensure that an adequate number of suitable projects are available from the various organizations (existing and new) to comfortably accommodate all the students. The off-campus faculty member’s role is crucial in this part of the process. Another task is to prepare a profile of each student, containing personal data, academic credentials, skills, extra-curricular interests, etc.

Allotment Process

The Problem Bank is a list of assignments from the various organizations, with details of skills and knowledge required. Facilty Chart contains the details of stipend and other support provided by the organizations. These details are made available to the students. Based on this information, the students submit their preferences for the various projects and organizations. The allotment of students is done by matching the project requirements with students’ profiles, keeping the preferences and the merit of the students in view.