Govt proposes task force to stop suicides among IITians

Last Updated 11 September 2011, 04:04 IST

 Concerned over rising cases of suicides among IIT students in recent years, the government has proposed setting up a task force to study the situation and suggest "systemic" measures to address the issue.

"The task force would analyse the issue threadbare, study the present situation in IITs, review the support systems available, and suggest the measures which can be undertaken to address the situation," an HRD Ministry official said.

The constitution of the task force, which would be discussed at the IIT council meeting here on Wednesday, would have representation from students, alumni, deans, parents and teachers.

Some experts on the subject of suicide can also be considered for membership of such a task force, the official said, indicating it could be headed by an eminent person such as director of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences.

The need for such a body was being increasingly felt as steps taken so far to address the problem including measures to de-stress students did not prove sufficient enough, the official said.

Studies have suggested that most of the students took such extreme measure either due to stress-related disorder or had succumbed to depression.

In recent years, cases of suicides have been reported from several of the IIT campuses - the latest one being from IIT Patna on September 1 where a 20-year-old girl from Andhra Pradesh allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the roof of her hostel as she was depressed with her performance in the elite institute. 

The other factor worrying the faculties was related to distractions among the IIT students, considered the best of the best in the academic milieu.

The task force will also attempt to address this issue as increased usage of gadgets, mobile phones, internet, games and videos is upsetting the daily schedule and attendance in classes.

It would analyse whether media hype about IITs and peer pressure could have contributed to an overwhelming feelings of success or failure among students.

(Published 11 September 2011, 04:04 IST)

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