Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar, member of the HRD panel and Founder, Sneha Helpline, said a survey was conducted in the technical institutes to see how accessible the support centres were to the students.

During their interactions with student counsellors and staff, it was found that students who were toppers in their schools were merely average at IIT. Besides, students who had secluded themselves in school during their preparation for engineering, found it difficult to manage their time in an open environment. Students also found it difficult to handle relationships as they had not developed the social skills for it.

Seven out of 12 suicides in technical institutes were committed by SC/ST students in the last two years. Also, students from rural areas faced language problems and tried to fit into popular groups. Many of these students came from poor families and found that in the end they were lagging behind in their studies.

Dr. Lakshmi also spoke about her meeting with Union HRD minister Pallam Raju and Minister of State for HRD, Shashi Tharoor, where she put forward a request to get accreditation for private technical institutes so that they could conveniently introduce counselling centres in their colleges.

Bincy Mathews