ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Death of a Dream

The administrative response to student suicides remains managerial at best and indifferent at worst.

The recent death by suicide of Darshan Solanki, an 18-year-old Dalit student at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, points towards certain festering problems in the higher educational institutions in India in general and IITs in particular. In 2021, the union minister of education had stated in Parliament that 122 students had died between 2014 and 2021, with 101 students dying in central universities, IITs, and National Institutes of Technology combined. The IITs alone accounted for 34 student suicides, and the data also revealed that students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) comprised 58% of all student suicides since 2014.

Student suicides have no singular reason. The circumstances that make a student take the tragic step of ending their own life emerge from a variety of sourcessocial as well as pedagogical, economic as well as curricular, political as well as psychological. The response elicited by the student suicides in IITs from the university administration is highly deficient as it mainly looks at the problem of suicides as caused by a singular reason of excessive stress. Although stress is an unmistakable part of the many problems faced by students, it cannot merely be taken as the only factor causing student suicides in India. The response which mainly cites stress as causing suicides in educational institutions also advocates for remedies that seem thoroughly ineffective in front of the sheer magnitude of the problems represented by student suicides. Remedies like counselling may be effective for students reeling under anxiety and stress, however, it may fail in front of other reasonsmost prominently, social and economic reasonswhich become a thorn in the flesh of many students attending these institutions of higher learning.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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