98 Students Suicides Reported From Higher Education Institutions Since 2018: Govt

According to the Ministry of Education, as many as 98 students from higher education institutions have killed themselves in the past five years including central universities, IITs, IIMs, NITs and IISERs. Notably, by far in 2023, a total of 20 suicide cases by students in higher education institutions have already been reported. Among these 20 cases, 9 have been reported from central universities and seven from IITs. Union Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar shared the data on students suicides in the Rajya Sabha,  in response to a written question. 

In his response, the union minister underlined that engineering colleges account for the majority of suicide cases among students reported in the last four years. As per the data shared, among the 98 students suicides cases in the past five years, 39 cases were reported from IITs, followed by 25 from NITs, 25 from central universities as well, 4 from IIMs, 3 from IISERs, and 2 from IIITs. In terms of year-wise statistics, while there have been 20 incidents of students suicides reported in 2023 so far, the tally stood at 24 in 2022, seven each in 2021 and 2020, 19 in 2019 and 21 in 2018.

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The data further revealed that among the 7 suicide cases of IIT students this year, two students hailed from SC and one from OBC categories. Among the 9 central university students who ended their lives this year, six were from SC, ST, OBC and the minority communities. No cases of suicides by students in IIMs, SPAs and IISERs from these categories, in the past two years. 

CIting the National Crime Records Bureau, the minister further highlighted various causes of students suicides in higher education institutions which include professional problems, sense of isolation, violence, family problems and mental disorders, among others. He further stressed that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken various measures and also issued advisories to higher education institutions to address mental health issues among students. 

“The UGC has also issued guidelines for promotion of physical fitness, sports, students’ health, welfare, psychological and emotional wellbeing at HEIs,” Sarkar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. “The Government of India initiative, named MANODARPAN, covers a wide range of activities to provide psychological support to students, teachers and families for mental and emotional well-being during the Covid outbreak and beyond. The ministry has also advised the institutions to make the system more robust that would include prevention, detection and remedial measures for addressing possible cause of suicides,” he was further reported as saying. 

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