Twenty seven students across 10 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country have committed suicide in the last five years, reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed.
As per the data provided by the Department of Higher Education working under the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), IIT Madras tops the list with suicides by seven students during this period.
In the reply to a query asked by RTI activist Chandrashekhar Gaur on December 2, the MHRD said that between 2014 and 2019, seven students from IIT Madras, five from IIT Kharagpur and three each from IIT Delhi and IIT Hyderabad committed suicide.
Two students each from IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati and IIT Roorkee also ended their lives during the period, it said.
During this period, one each student from Varanasi’s IIT (BHU), IIT (Indian School of Mines) Dhanbad and IIT Kanpur took the extreme step.
However, no reply was given to the query which sought to know the reasons behind the IIT students’ suicides.
When asked about the measures taken to prevent student suicides in the country’s premier technical institutes, the reply said, “Systems are in place in IITs to enquire and take action in all complaints received from students in IIT campuses, which includes Student Grievance Cell, Disciplinary Action Committee, Counseling Centres, etc.”
Meanwhile, Anand Kumar, founder of “Super 30”, a Patna-based institute giving coaching to meritorious students from poor families to prepare for the IIT entrance examination, expressed concern over the suicides by the students belonging to the top technical institutes.
Talking to PTI, Mr. Kumar said, “In the present situation, the nature of selection process for the IITs needs to be changed. In this process, students with innovative skills who are able to withstand different pressures of life should be given preference.”
He also said that the number of teachers in IITs should be in proportion to the students, so that each one gets proper attention.
He also suggested that special English classes should be started for the students who reach IITs after studying in non-English medium schools, so that it will benefit them in their studies.
Currently there are 23 IITs across the country.
According to the information received from the RTI, no suicide case was reported during past five years at the IITs in Indore, Patna, Jodhpur, Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Ropar, Mandi, Tirupati, Palakkad, Bhilai, Jammu, Goa and Dharwad.
Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.