After the death of a third-year student at Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) on Sunday, the institute’s student media body Insight, said that it will conduct a survey to find the problems students face owing to a lack of fluency in English.
Jitesh Sharma , who was found dead on a hostel terrace, is said to have had troubles with fluency in speaking English. He left a note stating he was not happy with his academic performance. He was also being treated for depression.
“We thought about this survey as we observed that a language barrier is hampering IIT-B students. Some students from small towns and rural areas find it difficult to communicate in English,” said Niranjan Thakurdesai, one of the chief editors of Insight.
“The upcoming survey will explore how the lack of English proficiency has affected students’ academic performance. The results will be submitted by May 7,” said Thakurdesai.
Experts feel that continuous counselling is important. “High expectations of teachers and parents, inhibitions, discrimination by fellow students make things difficult for students. Continuous counselling is not provided to students. Top institutes should include emotional intelligence in their syllabus,” said Rajendra Barve, senior psychiatrist.
According to the professors, the institute has already come up with measures to help. Last year, the institute started extra lectures in Bengali for first-year undergraduate students. A few professors also conduct extra lectures in Hindi and Marathi.
A professor, on condition of anonymity, said, “Students who are fluent in English should not discriminate against others who are not fluent in English.” UA Yajnik, dean, students’ affairs, IIT-B was not available for a comment.