Middle class expects huge rewards from their wards, which is an unhealthy trend

Parental pressure is more to blame than the rigorous curriculum and competition from peers for the increasing number of suicides among Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) students from Andhra Pradesh, former IIT-Kanpur Director and University Grants Commission (UGC) Member Sanjay G. Dhande has said.

“Students from no other State face such huge pressure, and my experience over the years shows that most Andhra Pradesh students experience it,” he adds.

The reason, according to him, is that the middle class expects huge rewards for their wards, once they pass out from IITs.

Sincerity lauded

This huge expectation from parents is unique, exclaims Prof. Dhande. At the same time, he was all praise for the “sincerity and hard work” put in by students from the State even as the “intellectual capacity” expected from IITians was “unfortunately missing in a majority of them”.

Prof. Dhande attributes the phenomenon to the coaching culture where the focus is more on mugging up and less on problem solving.

Freedom

Moreover, the freedom the students get at IITs after four or five years of “literal caging in schools in the name of coaching” is also a factor.

'“It’s unfortunate that some of these students take the extreme step unable to stand the pressure,” he says.

Prof. Dhande, who was honoured with the Padma Shri last year, also ridiculed the IIT coaching culture seeping to schools.

“Surely, IIT coaching can’t start from the sixth class”, he points out, adding that it is misleading parents who, in turn, start pressurising their wards from that age, which is a bad trend.

While coaching does assist in cracking the IIT entrance, it is the “lateral thinking that they pick up in school and college that keeps them going,” is his refrain.

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