District collector Ravi Kumar Surpur on Monday warned coaching institutes and hostels that criminal proceedings would be initiated against them if they failed to comply with the administration’s guidelines to check student suicides.
Seventeen students have allegedly committed suicide due to academic stress in Kota this year.
Over 1.25 lakh students take coaching for IIT-JEE, AIPMT and other engineering/medical entrance examinations at coaching institutes in Kota every year.
Surpur reviewed the pace of implementation of the guidelines issued by the district administration in November during a meeting with owners of coaching institutes and hostels in the collectorate.
The administration had issued a list of guidelines to the institutes last month to check stress among students.
It had asked the coaching institutes to recruit psychiatrists or counsellors, introduce meditation and recreational activities, conduct screening tests, segregate batches and give more weekly breaks among other steps to alleviate pressure on students.
The collector expressed displeasure over the inadequate progress on the guidelines, especially low recruitment of counsellors and lack of recreational facilities at the institutes.
“Institutes must develop infrastructure for recreation which should include some physical activities like sports,” he said. The institutes should also ensure weekly offs to relax the pressure on students and keep check absenteeism.
The collector also asked the institutes to not glorify selections in competitive examinations and instead inculcate competitive skills among students.
“Institutions should conduct group counselling of the students and if possible of their parents during the session starting from January 15, 2016,” he said.
Representatives of major coaching institutes including Allen Career Institute, Bansal Classes, Vibrant, Aakash and Resonance and also hostel associations attended the meeting.