The sudden and alarming increase in suicide cases coming from IITs across India is surely something to pay attention to. In the most recent news 32-year PhD student of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras was found hanging at his inside his room on March 31st 2023.

The student, Sachin Kumar Jain, a native of West Bengal was a PhD Research scholar from the Mechanical Engineering Department. He was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his room and shortly before according to the police he’d posted a WhatsApp status writing “I am sorry, I am not good enough”.

His friends grew concerned seeing it and reportedly rushed to his room to check in where they found him in that condition.

This is the third suicide death in this very year itself in IIT Madras, the first being a research scholar from Maharashtra that hung himself in February and recently in March when Vaipu Pushpak Sree Sai (20), a native of Andhra Pradesh who was a third-year BTech student also committed suicide in a similar manner.

What Are Students Saying?

The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) of IIT Bombay, posted about how the students at the IIT Madras campus were putting up posters claiming that this was a murder and not a suicide.

They wrote “In connection with the recent suicide in @iitmadras (31 March) some posters have popped up at different locations on campus. Friends of the deceased allege that the wrongful treatment from guide is responsible for the suicide.”

They added how “Even after having enough publications to complete the PhD, the guide was playing with the student’s life. After an issue regarding a conference, the guide has been continuously torturing and demeaning sachin. The contents of the suicide note is yet to come out.”

They finished by pointing out the dismal state of the grievance department in the IITs and how they need to work on it asap “There are no grievance redressal mechanisms in IITs against harassment by facilities. We have seen from incidents like Seema Singh of @IITKgp how profs openly humiliate students with impunity. Faculties must be held accountable and sensitised on how to treat students with respect.”

Read More: “He Was In Distress, He Was Being Tortured,” Family Of Dalit IIT-B Student Who Committed Suicide Speak Out

Twitter user @SundarSrik also posted his concerns writing “As an alum of @iitmadras this is indeed very concerning! One student lost is one too many, have suggested it in the past and I am doing so now, one member on the board of Governors should be a past student, and ensure all @iit’s are up to snuff on this!”

As per Twitter user @against_fee_hik, a page for IIT Delhi students, the constant increase in fees is also creating a lot of distress for students. They wrote “Continuous rise in mess fee of IIT Delhi has created distress among the students. According to students the average mess fee has been raised to around 7K per month and which is more than most of the IIT’S.”

What Is The Government Saying?

It is not just an issue for IIT Madras though, literally all such institutes across India, IITs, IIMS, NITs and more have been seeing an increase in student suicide rates as per government reports.

According to a report presented by the Ministry of Education in Lok Sabha in March, it was claimed that since 2018 IITs, IIMs, and NITs have seen around 61 students commit suicide.

Of this IIT boasted, unfortunately, a whopping 33 students with about half being from the SC, ST and OBC communities while the National Institutes of Technology (NIT) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) had the numbers being 24 and 4 respectively.

According to the ministry, “The reasons identified behind such suicides include academic stress, family reasons, personal reasons, mental health issues, etc.”

But it seems that while the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has “provisions for counselling systems for handling stress and emotional adjustments in institutions” however, their implementation seems to be extremely poor.

Students are calling out their institutes for having poor grievance redressal departments, and the ones that do have staff they have no understanding or are unwilling to take action in time allegedly.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

SourcesHindustan TimesThe Economic TimesLivemint

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Suicide At IIT Madras, IIT Madras, IIT Madras student, iit suicide, iit colleges, iit students, iit student suicide, IIT Madras student suicide, IIT Madras student suicide cause

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