IIT Madras : One More Student Found Dead In His Rental Room!!
Written by Surithi J Published on Apr 01, 2023 | 08:45 AM IST | 138
IIT Madras (IITM) has been rocked by a series of student deaths, with the third reported in just one month. The latest victim was Sachin Kumar Jain, a PhD research scholar in the mechanical engineering department at IITM. His cause of death has not been confirmed. The previous two deaths were BTech students who died by suicide.
On March 31, 2023, Sachin Kumar Jain, was found unconscious at his home and was later declared dead at a hospital. Prior to his death, Sachin had sent a message to some of his friends on WhatsApp apologizing and stating that he was not good enough. The police registered a case and the body was moved to a hospital for post-mortem.
This is the third death to be reported from IIT Madras in a month. Two weeks prior to Sachin’s death, a 20-year-old B.Tech student from Andhra Pradesh, V Vaipu Pushpak Sree Sai, was found dead by suicide in his hostel room within the IIT Madras campus. He was a third-year student pursuing B.Tech Electrical Engineering and resided at Alaknanda hostel in the IIT campus.
Sachin Kumar Jain was a promising scholar with a notable academic and research record, according to IITM. In an email to the public, the institute extended its condolences to Jain’s family and friends, and asked the community to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.
The first two deaths, both by suicide, sparked outrage among the student body at IITM. The students demanded accountability from the administration and accused the institute of neglecting their academic and non-academic concerns. The ChintaBar, a student body recognized by IITM, criticized the administration for failing to mention the term “suicide” in official communications. The Chinta Bar argued that the omission was an attempt to evade responsibility.
The tragic incidents at IITM have reignited a national conversation about student mental health in India. In the past five years, there have been 61 student suicides across IITs, NITs, and IIMs, according to data from the Ministry of Education. In the first two-and-a-half months of 2023, there have been six suicides at IITs and NITs alone.
The situation at IITM is particularly concerning as the institute is one of the most prestigious in India, and a symbol of excellence in science and technology. The institute’s students are among the brightest and most driven in the country, and the pressure to excel is high. Students are expected to maintain rigorous academic schedules while simultaneously pursuing research, internships, and extracurricular activities.
The pressure-cooker environment at IITM is not unique to the institute. Other institutions in India and around the world have reported similar struggles with student mental health. However, IITM’s status as a leader in higher education makes the situation particularly worrisome.
The deaths have prompted calls for increased mental health support for students at IITM and other Indian universities. In a statement, the ChintaBar urged the administration to take action, saying, “It is high time that the IITs and NITs take the mental well-being of their students seriously and take adequate steps to provide psychological support and counseling to students.”
IITM has responded by creating a task force to investigate the causes of the student deaths and recommend solutions. The task force is expected to include mental health professionals, faculty members, and representatives from student organizations. In a statement, IITM said, “We are deeply committed to the well-being of our students, and we will spare no effort to ensure that our campus is a safe and supportive environment for all.”
The deaths at IITM are a tragic reminder of the importance of mental health support for students, especially in high-pressure academic environments. The situation at IITM is a wake-up call for other institutions in India and around the world to prioritize student mental health and take action to address the issue.
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