19-year-old student found dead in Kota, suspected to be latest case of suicide | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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19-year-old student found dead in Kota, suspected to be latest case of suicide

Jan 24, 2024 05:49 PM IST

This is the first such case in Kota, where 27 students died by suicide in 2023, this year. The number of suicides last year was the highest since 2015.

A 19-year-old student from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad preparing for the all-India pre-medical entrance test was found dead in his hotel room in Kota late on Tuesday in what is suspected to be the latest in a spate of suicides in Rajasthan’s coaching hub. This is the first such case in Kota, where 27 students died by suicide in 2023, this year. The number of suicides last year was the highest since 2015 when the administration first began compiling records of such deaths.

Police said no note was recovered. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Police said no note was recovered. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Deputy police superintendent Bhawani Singh said the student had been studying in Kota for the last two years and was preparing for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (Undergraduate) or NEET for a second time. He said the student’s room had been locked from inside since Tuesday morning. “When he did not open the door until the evening, one of his friends started knocking but there was no response,” said Singh. Singh said the friends informed the police, who found the body after breaking open the door.

Police said no note was recovered and the student’s parents have been informed. “The body was sent for an autopsy. We are probing whether there was any behavioural change and also why the hostel had not installed a spring-loaded device in the ceiling fans as per the guidelines,” said Singh.

Fifteen 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 suicides were reported in 2020 and 2021 as coaching institutes were shut down or switched to online mode due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A committee formed to suggest preventive measures following the spate of suicides last year directed test preparation institutes to conduct fun activities to de-stress students, upload motivational videos on the online platform, and consider reducing syllabus to reduce pressure.

Kota test-prep business is estimated to be worth 10,000 crores annually. Students from around the country arrive in Kota after completing Class 10 to join test-prep institutes.

Some students find the grind stressful, especially because they are away from their families. The Rajasthan government on September 28 announced a series of measures to prevent the deaths, such as a mandatory screening test, the alphabetical sorting of students into sections instead of a ranking-based one, and the admission of students who are in Class 9 or higher.

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