122 students from central institutes died by suicide in seven years: Centre
total of 122 students from central government-run higher education institutions, including the IITs and IIMs, have died by suicide over the past seven years and roughly half of them belong to marginalised castes or tribes.
A total of 122 students from central government-run higher education institutions, including the IITs and IIMs, have died by suicide over the past seven years and roughly half of them belong to marginalised castes or tribes, the government said on Monday.
In response to a question by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member AKP Chinraj, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan told the Lok Sabha that 122 students had died by suicide between 2014 and 2021, and 68 of them belonged to the scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) or other backward classes (OBC).
This included Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT), central universities and other central government institutions.
“The government of India and University Grants Commission (UGC) have taken several initiatives to check the incidents of harassment and discrimination of students. University Grants Commission (Redressal of Grievances of Students) Regulations, 2019 have been formulated to safeguard the interests of the students,” the minister told Parliament.
Of the 122 students who died by suicide, 24 were SC, three were ST and 41 were OBC. Another three students were minorities, said the written response.
The highest numbers were from central universities, 37; out of this, 9 were SC, 1 ST and 14 OBC – roughly two-thirds – while three were minorities.
34 students died of suicide in IITs, out of which five were SC and 13 OBC. Another 30 students died of suicide in NITs, out of which six were SC and 11 OBC.
The minister listed several steps taken by the government to address mental health concerns.
“The government initiative, named MANODARPAN, covers a wide range of activities to provide psychological support to students, teachers and families for mental and emotional wellbeing during the Covid outbreak and beyond. In addition, institutions conduct workshops/seminars on happiness and wellness, regular sessions on yoga, induction programmes, extracurricular activities including sports and cultural activities and appointment of student counsellors for overall personality development and de-stressing students,” said the minister.
“Further, students, wardens and caretakers are sensitised to bring to notice the signs of depression in fellow students to the authorities so that timely clinical consultation may be provided,” he added.
(If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist.) Helplines: Aasra: 022 2754 6669; Sneha India Foundation: +914424640050 and Sanjivini: 011-24311918