Stay in Pilani, Report by Philip Manns

My Indian adventure started with a 4 hour taxi ride from the Delhi international airport to the BITS Pilani, a short 250 km journey. Once you enter the BITS, you notice first that it looks not at all like the rest of India you just drove though. It is a clean and safe bubble with wide open streets and not a lot of people, but instead with beautiful buildings and well managed parks, where everybody is willing to help you adjust yourself and participate successful in the Joint Indo-German Experience Lab.

This project is a cooperation between the TU Braunschweig and the Birla Institute of Technology Pilani (BITS), India and aims to raise awareness amongst students for sustainability within the production sector. As part of my bachelor thesis I investigated, on how to include renewable energy supply systems effectively in the setting of the Experience Lab. In addition, I developed a teaching tool, which shall be used by students as an aid to design a similar system on their own. But there are many more possible topics in the context of the JInGEL. Other Germany students developed didactic content for classes, improved the performance of the manufacturing devices in the Experience Lab, conducted psychologic studies with Indian students or implement teaching content based on virtual and augmented reality. However, all those projects have in common that you work together at the BITS, whereby for me, a normal working day looked like this:

  1. Get up around 7 am and do Yoga, if you want to have a group teacher you might even start at 5.30 am.
  2. Go to get your breakfast at 8 at the VFAST…. unfortunately breakfast is not ready because no one expects it to be, anyway drink a chai.
  3. Eat breakfast at 8.30 am and go to the workshop afterwards.
  4. The Indian PhDs and students are already working in the workshop and are happy to help with most of your questions. You try your best to work on your thesis and around 11 am there is a chai break.
  5. After chai break you have again time to work on your thesis, but unfortunately at 1 pm you feel hungry and go to one of the many options for lunch which all have great food.
  6. After you come back from lunch around 2 pm, you try again to work on your project. The next chai break is around 4pm.
  7. Finally, the day is over and you can relax and enjoy your evening. If you want to do some sport, the gym opens around 5.30. On your way back you come along the All Night Canteen, which has a great chai, just if you always wanted to try some….

Besides staying at BITS, you can experience the “real India” by travelling to a lot of places like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Agra, Delhi or Pushkar, which are all just a short bus ride away. You also will be most likely invited to join for an Indian wedding, see some holy Indian festivals and enjoy having a delhi belly at least once during your time. It’s a memorable time, you definitely will enjoy!