Student suicides spike significantly at IIT campuses

Student suicides spike significantly at IIT campuses

  • India’s premier technical institutions have witnessed several student suicides in the last few years.
  • IIT Guwahati witnessed a suicide case of a student intern from Japan — who was in India for an exchange programme.
  • In 2019 alone, about five students have committed suicide at IIT Madras and three at the Hyderabad campus.
Each day, about six students commit suicide due to academic failure in India. And there are many such students at IITs.

An exchange student from Japan committed suicide at IIT Guwahati on November 21. "He was supposed to return to his parent university on November 30 after completion of the exchange programme. The police found him hanging from the ventilator in the bathroom," IITG public relations officer told IANS.

IIT Madras which is home to some 8,000 students is also under police radar. They are probing the case of 19-year-old Humanities student — Fathima Lateef, who allegedly killed herself in her hostel room on November 9.
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As per the police, Lateef’s scores were low in her internal exams. However, her parents say that alleged religious discrimination and harassment by a university professor is the cause of her death.

Around the same time, an 18-year-old IIT Delhi died after falling from the fifth floor of the hostel building — and police suspect a suicide.

While a few such stories do come to light after they make headlines, several others are buried in the case files. In 2019 alone, about five students have committed suicide at IIT Madras. In the last ten years, as many as 14 such cases were registered at the institute.
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Last month, a third-year student at IIT Hyderabad committed suicide leaving behind a note saying, “Sorry I turned out to be a waste.” The student quoted academic pressure as the cause. And, this was the third suicide on campus in the last eight months.

India has the highest student suicide rate with nearly 38,000 students committing suicide since 2015. The country witnesses nearly 28% of global suicides despite accounting for 18% of the population worldwide.

Suicide is the second highest cause of unnatural dealths among youngsters. Every 40 seconds, a person commits suicide. According to WHO, every person who dies by suicide leads to more than 20 people trying to attempt it.
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Government push for wellness centres

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has laid out a counselling plan for country’s most prestigious institutes — Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) — and other higher educational institutions, The Print reported.

Delhi, Mumbai and Madras campuses of IITs have wellness centres. Roughly 10% of students seek counselling at IIT Madras, the Indian Express reported adding that a psychiatrist visits the campus everyday.
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The government now wants other institutions to have them as well. It is considering associating with more than 300 counsellors, including private partners via online mechanism.

See also:

Fear, self-loathing and stress affect students appearing for competitive exams
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India stopped counting suicides 3 years ago — now, it’s the worst in all of South East Asia

India wants more IITs to have wellness centers to curb stress and depression
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