Kota administration stops exams at coaching centres after students’ suicide

According to authorities, 22 students preparing for competitive exams in the district have ended their lives so far in 2023

Updated - August 28, 2023 08:39 pm IST

Published - August 28, 2023 06:28 pm IST - Jaipur

A poster describing the ‘wrong track’ and ‘right track’ for coaching students pasted across Kota.

A poster describing the ‘wrong track’ and ‘right track’ for coaching students pasted across Kota. | Photo Credit: PTI

The district administration in Rajasthan’s Kota has ordered a stay on conducting tests and examinations at the coaching centres for two months following the death of two students by suicide. The two NEET aspirants ended their lives in a span of four hours on Sunday, taking the number of deaths to 22 this year.

Kota Collector O.P. Bunkar said the exams had been stopped with immediate effect for the next two months in order to provide “psychological support and security” to the residential students and others studying at the coaching institutes. Mr. Bunkar said the decision formed part of the steps for exercising control of the coaching centres.

The Principal Secretary (Higher and Technical Education) Bhawani Singh Detha held a meeting with the Collector and other officers in Kota through video conferencing on Monday. Mr. Detha, who heads a high-level committee formed last week to look into the issue, also interacted with the representatives of coaching centres and hostel associations during the meeting.

The members of the committee will visit Kota on September 2. Mr. Detha asked the coaching centre operators to hold half-time classes for students every Wednesday and organise other activities during the remainder of the day. A committee of subject experts will also give recommendations on reducing the course content.

Public Health Engineering Minister Mahesh Joshi said in Jaipur that the Centre must formulate a policy for reducing the costs of coaching of students preparing for competitive exams so that their parents are not forced to borrow money for education. The students were under psychological pressure, in addition to the burden of studies, over the expenses of coaching, he said.

Over two lakh students arrive in Kota every year to prepare for competitive exams for admissions to medical and engineering colleges. The number of suicides so far in 2023 is the highest for any year. Fifteen students had died in 2022.

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