Teen JEE aspirant dies in Kota, 21st case this year
An 18-year-old student preparing for JEE in Kota, India, died by suicide, marking the fourth such incident this month and the highest in eight years.
Jaipur: An 18-year-old student, who was preparing for Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission in engineering courses, allegedly died by suicide in Rajasthan’s Kota on Tuesday, police said on Wednesday.
According to police records, Tuesday’s suicide is the fourth such incident in the district among students preparing for competitive exams, mostly JEE and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), this month and the 21st this year, which is also the highest in eight years.
The teen from Bihar was found dead by his landlord in his paying guest (PG) accommodation at Mahaveer Nagar on Tuesday night, Paramjeet Singh, sub-inspector (SI) at Mahaveer Nagar police station, said.
“The teen arrived in Kota a year ago and was preparing for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exam. He was staying in a PG. He was found dead by his landlord after he did not respond to repeated knocks, prompting the latter to break open the door,” Singh said.
The student was preparing for a second attempt to join IIT as he could not clear his last one, the SI said. No suicide note was found and preliminary probe did not suggest any behavioural changes in the student. The body has been sent to the district medical college hospital for an autopsy, he added.
Kota is the centre of India’s test-prep business, estimated to be worth ₹10,000 crore annually, according to officials in the district administration. Students from around the country arrive here in huge numbers after completing Class X, and register in residential test-prep institutes. They also enroll in schools, most of which are largely for purposes of certification.
Students attend classes only in the test-prep institutes, which prepare them for their Class XII examination, but more importantly, entrance examinations such as NEET and JEE. Some students find the grind stressful, especially because they are away from their families.
On August 11, a 17-year-old JEE aspirant from Bihar died by suicide in a hostel in Mahaveer Nagar. On August 4, a 17-year-old engineering aspirant from Bihar died by suicide in Mahaveer Nagar. A day earlier on August 3, a NEET aspirant from Uttar Pradesh allegedly died by suicide in Vigyan Nagar. Police said both (last two) the deceased had arrived in Kota four months ago.
According to police data, 15 students died by suicide in Kota in 2022, 18 in 2019, 20 in 2018, seven in 2017, 17 in 2016, and 18 in 2015. No suicide took place in 2020 and 2021.
Data also showed that Kota recorded an average of three suicides per month among such students this year. Last month, four students, including two NEET aspirants, died by suicide within a span of 10 hours.
A surge in such suicide cases has prompted the state government to consider a law to regulate private educational institutes – from schools to universities to test-prep specialists – and ease the academic pressure on students, especially those enrolled in private coaching centres or online tutorials.
Additionally, the state police department on June 22 set up a students’ cell, comprising an additional superintendent of police, three inspectors or sub-inspectors or assistant sub-inspectors and six constables, including female cops, to hold regular interactions and keep a check on students across coaching centres.