42: A Useless FAQ For Everything Boring in BPHC.

the One FAQ to rule them all!

Is this FAQ going to be long? What will it cover?

Yes, it is going to be long. And it will cover everything you need to know (and a lot of things you don’t) about joining BPHC. A good number of basic things are already covered here – check that out too.

When do I report to campus? When will I get my hostel room?

Admissions for first three iterations start at 9 am on 29th July. Room allotment is done from 28th and you will be assigned your hostel room whenever you come to campus. With the construction of the new hostels, most of the rooms allotted will be double sharing rooms, although there are a few single rooms too. It is better  that you come to campus a day in advance so you can settle into your hostel room, start buying essentials and check out the campus. It’s much easier to focus on admissions if you are not worrying about a million other things.

Where do my parents stay?

Parents are permitted to stay in your rooms for the first couple of days or so. Sleeping in tents is not permitted, so there are resorts and hotels a few minutes away from campus (Google: Summer Green, Aalankrita, etc). Keep in mind, no male – parents and children included – are allowed into the girls’ hostels, so they must make their own arrangements.

How do I reach the campus?

If you’re starting from Secunderabad Railway Station, you can take bus 212 directly to campus. You can also take any of the buses plying to the nearby Thumkunta (Try 211) and take an auto from there. (Or ignore everything I said and just board a cab from the station or the airport.) This link provides more details on how to reach the campus.

What do I bring to campus? Should I bring clothes? A cauldron? Three iron nails?

Most of the “required” things that must be brought from home are the bare essentials – clothes, undergarments, bed sheets, footwear, towels, a bag, a lightsaber etc. The rest are all available on campus, so you don’t need to worry about running out of notebooks or not having shampoo. Unless you plan to try MUNs or really love suits, there’s no need for formal wear either. Just bring what you need and buy whatever you don’t have. The city’s 60 minutes away just in case you need larger purchases done.

Should I Google everything about the campus? Can you send me images of what the hostel rooms look like? Do I buy my books and bring them? Should I find out about my subjects?

No, no, no and not necessarily. If it’s not in this FAQ, you don’t need to know it. The overly-curious may ask a senior.

What documents should I bring to campus?

The documents needed include:

  1. Class 12 marksheet and pass certificate
  2. Class 10 pass certificate
  3. Transfer/Migration certificate
  4. Medical fitness certificate
  5. Anti ragging affidavit.

It’s also useful to bring:

  1. Originals+photocopies of some sort of photo-verification for you (or your parents if you’re a minor). That means passport, Aadhar card, Driving License, PAN Card or any other such document.
  2. Plenty of photographs. They’ll end up being necessary in a lot of places.

Am I supposed to pay anything other than what I already did, for the first semester?

In total, you pay approx 1.68 lakhs (As admission fees+semester fees) + Rs 39000 (Caution deposit + Hostel Fees + Mess and Electricity Advance + Other things). This covers all possible fees for your first semester (except if you are a Greyjoy. Then, you pay the iron price). Bring a Demand Draft of whatever amount you haven’t paid already, when you report to campus. The next fees will be again due after 1st semester is over. The complete fee details are mentioned here (you’ll have to scroll down a bit).

I like playing the guitar. Should I bring it? Or my cricket kit?

Yes! If you have any hobby, NOW’s the time to pursue it. Tennis rackets, baseball bats, Nimbus 2000s, guitars, sitars, pianos… if you are interested in pursuing it on campus, bring it.

Can I bring my pet dog?

No. The only pet animals that are allowed on campus are snakes. We even have a special club for Parselmouths.

Was that sarcasm?

Yes. I even have a special sarcasm sign for you.

Can I see it?

*sigh* Some people just cannot be helped. Now stop asking more of these questions before you lower the IQ of the whole street, Anderson.

What about a laptop? Is that a good idea?

This is probably the second most controversial topic on campus (after mess food). There are a lot of benefits to bringing a laptop, like easier access to course material and notices (uploaded on the campus intranet). But people usually tend to forget those and end up being glued to the less constructive purposes all day. (Not me though.) If you have the self control, bring it. But it is preferable to make do with a smartphone or the IPC (the computer lab with free access for all) until the 2nd semester – or at least Diwali.

How about mobile phones? What service providers do you use there?

The only network that works decently on campus is Idea (all hail Aditya Birla group). So you have to take a new Idea connection when you join campus, unless you’re satisfied with being unreachable most of the time. Prepaid SIMs are available in CP (Connaught Place, the shopping centre), while Idea stalls for a Postpaid connection are available during the first few days. Decide your plan before you buy your SIM. (Personal experience – Postpaid sucks. Also, changing a number/ network plan midway through the semester is really painful.)

As for other first day stuff…

yes, there is more to set up. In the first few days, there will be some very useful stalls: you can get Kurl-On mattresses for your bed and get your newspaper subscriptions. Or buy a Google Glass (You wish). You must also set up a new bank account in the on-campus branch of SBH. Just come to campus and it’ll all be sorted out.

Okay, so what happens on July 29th? Do I need my parents to be there?

You take admission in BITS. Everything is explained to you multiple times while you’re inside, so just make sure to bring your documents and hostel allotment slips. (And a pen. Always have a pen.) Parents are not allowed during the admissions process so they will have to wait while you go through the procedure. They have an orientation of their own where they’re informed about various important details.

My board hasn’t given my certificates yet. What do I do? Will I not get admissions if I don’t have all the documents?

You just explain the situation to one of the volunteers or teachers and they will help you. You will be allowed admission, but probably have to submit the missing documents later.

What is this anti-ragging affidavit? What do I do with it?

It’s a necessary document you submit that says you will not rag anyone when you join BITS (heh). You can fill it online and print it.

What is campus locking/campus freezing? How do I do it?

Basically campus locking is an option for you to delete all your preferences in Pilani and Goa for the 4th iteration. So if you love Hyderabad campus enough (or brought 5 suitcases here and don’t want to shift), then you can use this option. If you do that, you will not be asked to change campus, no matter what preferences you put. You will only get a higher preference on the same campus (if it becomes available). To do it, you just need to fill in the Pink Slip during the admissions process.

What is this 5th iteration again? Who participates in it?

So remember how everyone paid Rs 1.68 lakhs or so to get admission in BITS? Well, not everyone will end up reporting on campus. This leaves a few seats unfilled on campus, because of which we have the 5th iteration. Everyone who got a seat, but didn’t take admission on 30th gets removed, and the iterations continue as usual.

Okay, so I got branch XYZ in 5th iteration. Can I reject that?

No. If you get a seat, you either take it or you reject admissions in BITS. So if you slide up in your preference list, you “have to” take it. If you didn’t fill up the Pink Slip and got shifted to Goa or Pilani, you have to move to your new campus within 7 days. There is no way you can choose to retain lower options.

If I get a seat in 5th iteration, when can I join campus?

As soon as you can, but before the 8th. Just report to campus and take your new hostel room. And get your admission in BITS done on 8 August. And bring all documents and any necessary fees, as specified above.

When do classes start?

After you take admission, that’s it for 30th. You can take some time off and look around the campus, meet seniors and staff and take care of other things. Then is the orientations. You will be informed about everything on campus and about BITS. Finally, it’s the academic registration, where you decide your time-table. Classes start immediately after all of these are done, so you can expect them to begin by 4 August.

So don’t the fifth iteration people miss some classes?

Yes. But don’t worry. Anything taught in the first week can be made up for with very little self study. For those who insist on being a Granger, the teachers will conduct extra classes to cover your syllabus when you join. As it is, nobody is going to stop you from attending any classes even if you are in 5th iteration.

How are classes in BITS?

In BITS, we follow, what I call, the Hogwarts system. Basically, instead of extending the vastly inefficient and boring school approach, here we do it the magical way. There are a number of classes for each course taught by different teachers and at different time slots, and you choose what classes you take up. The classes that you want to take are all chosen at the beginning of the semester during academic registration. This academic registration, or “select – your – own – timetable – day” will be on August 1 for students from the first three iterations.

So all students of a branch do not study in the same section?

Nope. Every class has all the students who opted for that section.

Can I change my timetable?

No. Once decided, your timetable remains the same for the entire semester. And since there are a limited number of students under each teacher, a lot of the timetable scheduling depends on a randomly (very, very randomly) generated number called PR number.

So what do I do if I want to study from one particular teacher?

Pray (for a high PR number). Or just make sure that your timetable is free during that teacher’s class so you can just go sit in their class. One of the perks of the BITS flexibility is you can go to whichever teacher suits you best. Just don’t miss any surprise tests in the process.

So how many working days do you have anyway? And what timings are classes from?

Five and a half. Monday to Friday are full days while Saturday is a half day. Classes start from 8 am and go until 6 pm (1 pm for half days). Before you panic, there are only about 20 hours of classes per week. So based on how you set up your schedule, you may have (usually) anywhere between 2 to 6 hours of classes on any given day.

Where do I buy my text…

… Ask a senior. That rule remains valid for almost every question I didn’t answer.

But… won’t there be ragging?

Nope. It’s interaction not ragging. Nothing serious, we’ll just try to meet you and know more about you. Promise. And we’ll be extra nice to you if you bring ice cream.

Got that. Anything else?

That’s all. Welcome to BITS.

Subham Soni


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