IIT Kharagpur cuts power every day to compel stressed students to move out of their dorms for tea, coffee breaks

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Just two days ago, the news of a depressed17-year-old boy - son of an IIT Bombay professor, committing suicide hit the national headlines. His suicide note mentioned that he could not cope with academic pressure. Such cases have been on the rise, especially among IIT aspirants, IIT students and children of IIT faculty members.

Earlier this year, a 20-year-old student living at the IIT-B campus and a son of a faculty member, stabbed himself to death after an altercation with his family members. Last year in April, a 17-year-old daughter of a faculty member had taken her life by jumping off a building in the campus.

While the administration is still trying hard to deal with this challenge, IIT Kharagpur has taken a step forward to help students deal with their daily stress. It's compelling students, who are otherwise huddled in their tiny dorms buried under an avalanche of books, to move out of their rooms and mingle with others.

How this is being done is rather interesting - the college reportedly cuts off power in its hostel for an hour every now and then in a bid to urge students to come out of their rooms and speak to others. The college is also installing new vending machines for free tea and coffee.

"Students are meeting increasingly less. This naturally creates a lot of problems as they end up being alone. This small step will help them connect when they take a 10-minute coffee or tea break," an official was quoted as saying.

The latest suicide was reported only a few months ago where a fourth-year student of IIT Kharagpur allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel room. Increasing levels of stress and depression are said to be the most common reasons why incidents of student suicides is rising in IITs.

Steps by IIT-KGP

A report earlier had stated that IIT Kharagpur had also urged the students to spend quality time under a tree canopy and speak to counsellors that help students deal with psychological disorders.

Student evaluation with the assistance of psychiatric professionals is on the cards.

3-credit courses on mental health and wellbeing will also be run from next year.

The institute is also planning to start an orientation programme with parents.

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