YOUR DOST

YOUR DOST
CLICK ON BANNER TO FIND OUT MORE

Search This Blog

Loading...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Two deaths and an attempted suicide later, IIT-B upgrades on-campus student support system - Mid Day

By Shreya Bhandary |Posted 26-Aug-2015
 76 0 1 0 0

Besides deploying counsellors in hostels, institute is allowing families of distressed students to stay with them on campus for a few days; students claim nothing much has changed

In the wake of two deaths and an attempted suicide on IIT-B campus in less than a year, the management has taken steps to ensure that students don’t feel stressed or get bogged down by academic or other pressures.



Representation pic/thinkstock


From hiring counsellors to making arrangements for families of stressed students to stay with them for a few days, the institute is deploying various methods to ensure that students are offered a strong support system.

One such method is the appointment of a counsellor to work from hostels. This counsellor is easily approachable as per students’ convenience. “We realised students felt uncomfortable while visiting counsellors at their offices in the main building, so we made arrangements for a counsellor to work from the hostels.

This counsellor moves form one hostel to another on a rotational basis and ensures more interaction with the students,” said Soumyo Mukherji, dean, student affairs, IIT-B, adding, “Since the counsellor is in the hostel, several students freely approach the counsellor. Some of the students simply visit so that they can chat with the counsellor.”

Currently, two counsellors work on IIT-B’s payroll and the third has been hired on a contractual-basis. According to figures given by institute officials, the number of students seeking help from counsellors has increased over the years. At present, on an average, two different counsellors conduct 120 to 130 sessions a month.

Of these, 25 sessions are dedicated to first timers, while the remaining ones are follow-ups. Officials added the number of students attending group workshops on stress management has increased by over 50 per cent due to word-of-mouth publicity, as most of the workshops have yielded positive results for distressed students.

“There are several measures that we are trying to implement, but most of these are still ideas and we want to ensure they are implemented well and benefit our students. For now, students are busy with the orientation programmes and we want them to know that the institute is always there to help them,” Mukherji said.

Counter view
While the institute claims it is implementing all possible measures to strengthen the support system, students have questioned the impact that the counselling sessions have had. 

“The institute may or may not be responsible in certain cases when students take extreme steps.
But, in case of a suicidal attempt or a death, the administration’s reaction has always been far from what it should have been. There is a need for change in the way our problems are treated. Counselling isn’t the only solution,” said a third-year student.


Cases
June 2015: A 23-year-old MTech student, pursuing degree in Earth Sciences, tried to end his life when he was alone in his room at Hostel 5. His mates claimed that after the initial attempt to commit suicide by hanging failed, the student popped some pills. He was immediately rushed to the IIT-Bombay Hospital and later to the Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, where he finally recovered.

May 2015: Jitesh Sharma, a third-year chemical engineering student, was found dead on the terrace of one of the hostels on May 2. The 21-year-old was reportedly suffering from depression and was undergoing counselling for over six months. Sharma’s body was found around 7 pm on the terrace of Hostel 15-B. He, however, resided in Hostel 8.

September 2014: Aniket Ambhore (22), a fourth-year student pursuing a dual degree in electrical engineering, died after falling from the sixth floor of Hostel 13. Aniket was immediately rushed to Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar, where he was declared dead on arrival. It is still unclear whether it was an accident or a suicide.


- See more at: http://www.mid-day.com/articles/two-deaths-and-an-attempted-suicide-later-iit-b-upgrades-on-campus-student-support-system/16485192#sthash.FYVAEzTZ.dpuf

Friday, August 14, 2015

Kota IIT-aspirant's suicide case twists; cops say it’s accident

Kota IIT-aspirant's suicide case twists; cops say it’s accident

Mother of Yogesh Johare, an IIT-aspirant studying in Kota who allegedly committed suicide, grieves outside the postmortem room in Kota on Wednesday. Police have now said the death was due to a fire accident during a chemistry experiment Yogesh was trying out. (HT Photo/AH Zaidi)

In less than 24 hours of declaring that a coaching student had committed suicide by jumping off his hostel building after setting himself on fire in Kota, investigators on Wednesday said it could just be an accident.

Yogesh Johare, 17, a resident of Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, who was taking coaching for the IIT-JEE in Kota, could have caught fire while attempting a chemistry experiment in his room and fallen from the building while trying to extinguish the fire, police as well as the boy’s family said.

The dead boy’s parents, Sitaram Johare and Usha Johare, arrived in Kota on Wednesday, and later the postmortem was conducted on the body in their presence.

Sitaram said they visited the hostel room of their son in Mahaveer Nagar III area of Kota city along with police, who had sealed it on Tuesday.

Insisting that Yogesh could not commit suicide, he said no suicide note was found from the room.

Instead, a tiffin box, a glass, a teaspoon, a bottle filled with turpentine oil, another bottle partially filled and some oil spread around the room, along with a notebook mentioning chemistry equations, were found from the room, he said.

The room’s condition and the recovered items suggested that Yogesh might have attempted some chemistry experiment in which he caught fire and later jumped off the building to extinguish it, the father said.

“My son might be conducting some kind of chemistry experiment related to temperature,” he said. “If he wanted to commit suicide then why only 100 ml of turpentine oil was empty from one bottle.”

The mother revealed that their son had the habit of conducting science experiments at their home in Chhindwara. “My son was lively and got 73% marks in Class 12, so there was no point for committing suicide,” said the weeping mother.

The father said Yogesh had called him on the night of August 10, a day before his death, and he did not appear disturbed at all. Yogesh had arrived in Kota on July 20 for the coaching.
Assistant sub inspector and investigation officer in the case, Ramesh Chand Bhargava said that after talking to the boy’s parents and the investigation of the spot, the death appears to be an accident instead of suicide.

The student had received severe head injuries after falling on the ground which claimed his life, he said, adding that forensic test of the items recovered from the boy’s room would be done for the detailed investigation.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kota: 17-year-old IIT aspirant commits suicide

Kota: 17-year-old IIT aspirant commits suicide

Posted on: 11:06 AM IST Aug 12, 2015 | Updated on: 11:36 am,Aug 12,2015 IST

Kota: A young IIT aspirant committed suicide in Rajasthan's coaching hub Kota on Wednesday. This takes the number of student suicides in Kota in the past three months to 6.
Yogesh Johare, 17, belonged to Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. According to the police, he immolated himself and then jumped from the third floor of his private hostel building.

The forensic team, though, has not found any suicide note from his room.

The police are investigating the matter to identify if it was due to stress or some other reason that Johare committed suicide. Johare had joined IIT coaching on July 14.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

IIT student ends her life in Andhra - The Statesman

PTI
Kadapa (AP), | 11 August, 2015


Representational Image (Getty Images)

A final year female student from the Edupulapaya campus of the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) here allegedly committed suicide by consuming pesticide, police said on Tuesday.

V Bharathi, a native of Kurnool district and student of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), took the extreme step last evening at her hostel room following which she was rushed to the resident doctor in the campus, they said.

She was later shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical sciences (RIMS) hospital here, where she breathed her last while undergoing treatment, police said.

A suicide note was recovered from her room along with some messages on her cell phone, said Pulivendula Rural CI Maheswar Reddy.

Police suspect it to be case of suicide due to failure in love.
The postmortem of the victim will be done later in the day and further investigations are on, the CI added.


Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/news/india/iit-student-ends-her-life-in-andhra/81818.html#GiQ41CgqPf7J13Wt.99

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Academic Stress, Reason for Students Calling it Quits in IITs, NITs


Summary: Unable to cope with the system and stress could be the main reasons for the dropouts,” said an IIT Delhi professor. I am sure that they will respond to the government  of India soon,” Irani said in the Lok Sabha. She added, “Let me reiterate here the commitment of the government to ensure that within these IITs, we will ensure that the mechanism to deal with academic stress and the mechanism to help weaker students to strengthen themselves.

CHENNAI/NEW DELHI: More than 4,400 students dropped out of IITs and NITs in the last three years due to various reasons including “academic stress”, the government said on Wednesday and assured that corrective actions have been initiated.Once an IIT student drops out of his/her course at any point, the seat remains vacant till the end of the programme and no induction can happen since it is almost impossible to provide proper education considering the way the course is structured.In some IITs, students who have more than three to four backlogs during the first two semesters, find it difficult to pursue the remaining course and this might lead to dropouts, said S Sundar, chairman of IIT-JEE. Assuring that corrective measures have been initiated, Irani said through guidance and counselling, students facing emotional difficulties are identified and guided to professional counsellors for help.Though the number of IIT dropouts is growing every year, the IITs had preferred to opt for an ‘exit policy’ aimed at plugging seat vacancies that occur when students quietly drop out, instead of taking concrete steps to stop the dropouts.The Ananda Krishnan committee report on suicides in IITs also mentioned stress and inability to cope up with the system. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

757 dropouts from IITs, 717 from NITs in 2014-15: Minister


Contributed by JAKE CARTER on August 5, 2015 at 11:43 pm


“The reasons for dropouts may be attributed to shifting to other colleges/institutions, personal reasons, medical reasons, getting jobs during PG courses, inability to cope with academic stress etc”, Irani said in a written reply.



In some IITs, students who have more than three to four backlogs during the first two semesters, find it hard to pursue the remaining course and this might lead to dropouts, said S Sundar, chairman of IIT-JEE. IIT Roorkee saw the most dropouts at 228, followed by IIT Kharagpur, 209, and IIT Delhi, 169.

Though the number of IIT dropouts is growing every year, the IITs had preferred to opt for an “exit policy” aimed at plugging seat vacancies that occur when students quietly drop out, instead of taking concrete steps to stop the dropouts.

There are 16 IITs and 30 NITs in the country.

Of the NITs, there were 717 dropouts in 2014-15, lower than 785 found in the year-prior period.

In a major relief to students, IITs and NITs will refund the acceptance fee after deducting minimal processing charges in case a student gives up his allotted seat to take admission in any other institute including private one. The administration is resolved to deliver issues identified with academic stress, she included.

She said that the IITs had initiated continuous corrective actions to minimise dropouts, including counselling to de-stress students, guidance and counselling unit headed by faculty members and appointments of advisors. It lives up to expectations almost alongside various staff advocates and consultants to “recognise students confronting emotional challenges and aide them to expert guides for help”.

Referring to the member, the Minister said his indication that “children in the IIT ecosystem and IIT family are committing suicides because they are unable to keep up with the pressure that the academic environment in the IIT has, is incorrect”.
Irani told the House in response to a question that IITs have extensive support systems to help students overcome barriers such as language and their progress was monitored on a monthly basis.

The issue came to light after the IIT-Roorkee recently expelled 73 students for their under-performance and later took them back to give another chance for improving their performance amid an uproar in the political circles as most of these students belonged to the reserved categories. AIADMK member M Thambidurai, while asking a supplementary question in the Lok Sabha, drew a comparison of figures and sought to know from the HRD minister why the students were moving out from “reputed institutes” like IIT Roorkee, Mumbai and Delhi in high numbers but not from similar institutions like IIT Madras.

Academic Stress, Reason for Students Calling it Quits in IITs, NITs - New Indian Express

By Ram Sundaram  and  U Anand Kumar
Published: 06th August 2015 03:05 AM

CHENNAI/NEW DELHI: More than 4,400 students dropped out of IITs and NITs in the last three years due to various reasons including “academic stress”, the government said on Wednesday and assured that corrective actions have been initiated.
Once an IIT student drops out of his/her course at any point, the seat remains vacant till the end of the programme and no induction can happen since it is almost impossible to provide proper education considering the way the course is structured.
In some IITs, students who have more than three to four backlogs during the first two semesters, find it difficult to pursue the remaining course and this might lead to dropouts, said S Sundar, chairman of IIT-JEE.

Assuring that corrective measures have been initiated, Irani said through guidance and counselling, students facing emotional difficulties are identified and guided to professional counsellors for help.

Though the number of IIT dropouts is growing every year, the IITs had preferred to opt for an ‘exit policy’ aimed at plugging seat vacancies that occur when students quietly drop out, instead of taking concrete steps to stop the dropouts.
The Ananda Krishnan committee report on suicides in IITs also mentioned stress and inability to cope up with the system. The findings of the committee ranged from personal problems, mental stress, family problems, factors such as poor results and inability to cope with teaching methods.

“If the recommendations of the Ananda Krishnan Committee report on suicides in IITs had been strictly implemented, there would have been no dropouts in IITs. Unable to cope with the system and stress could be the main reasons for the dropouts,” said an IIT Delhi professor.


“As far as Thambidurai’s question with regard to IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi and IIT Roorkee on why there is a large surge of dropouts from these three institutions is concerned, I would like to assure him that, the Department has communicated with these institutions asking for the reasons as to why they feel there is such a large number of dropouts. I am sure that they will respond to the government  of India soon,” Irani said in the Lok Sabha. She added, “Let me reiterate here the commitment of the government to ensure that within these IITs, we will ensure that the mechanism to deal with academic stress and the mechanism to help weaker students to strengthen themselves.”

Smriti Irani concedes academic stress leading to drop-outs in IITs, NITs; rejects notion it's causing suicides - dna


Thursday, 6 August 2015 - 8:34am IST |
 Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI



Interestingly, while responding to a supplementary query on whether academic pressure is causing suicide by IIT students, Irani asserted this was "incorrect"

Over 4,400 students dropped out of IITs and NITs in the last three years due to various reasons including "academic stress", the government said on Wednesday and assured that corrective actions have been initiated.

As many as 2,060 students dropped out from various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) from 2012-13 to 2014-15, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

During this three-year period, 2,352 students dropped out from the National Institutes of Technology (NITs).

"The reasons for dropouts may be attributed to shifting to other colleges/institutions, personal reasons, medical reasons, getting jobs during PG courses, inability to cope with academic stress etc," Irani said in a written reply. In 2014-15, IITs witnessed 757 dropouts which was higher than 697 dropouts (2013-14) and 606 (2012-13). During this period, IIT Roorkee saw the highest number of dropouts at 228, followed by IIT Kharagpur (209) and IIT Delhi (169).

Interestingly, there were no dropouts at IITs in Mandi, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Madras and Ropar during 2014-15 period. There are 16 IITs and 30 NITs in the country. Of the NITs, there were 717 dropouts in 2014-15, lower than 785 seen in the year-ago period. In 2012-13, the dropout numbers stood at 850.

Irani said there is a mechanism for helping students who are under stress. The government is committed to address issues related to academic stress, she added. Listing out various initiatives that are in place to minimise dropouts at IITs, Irani said there is a guidance and counselling unit, headed by a faculty member. It works closely along with a number of faculty counsellors and advisors to "identify students facing emotional difficulties and guide them to professional counsellors for help". 

Interestingly, while responding to a supplementary query on whether academic pressure is causing suicide by IIT students, Irani asserted this was "incorrect". Referring to the member, the Minister said his indication that "children in the IIT ecosystem and IIT family are committing suicides because they are unable to keep up with the pressure that the academic environment in the IIT has, is incorrect". 

Irani also assured that any challenge that IIT students present to the faculty within the IIT ecosystem would be met in a supportive fashion.

To another query, she said, "I had said that I contest the fact that there is no mechanism available within the IITs to address issues with regard to either academic stress" or that more problems are faced by children from weaker segments of society. "I would like to firmly state here with all humility that to say that students do not take stress is not a statement that I made. I said that we have provided a mechanism that a student under stress within this eco system can approach and seek help and guidance from," Irani noted.

She was responding to AIADMK member M Thambidurai, also the Deputy Speaker, who asked the Minister about the anomaly in the written and oral responses. To a query about IIT Roorkee expelling 73 students last month for less academic scores, Irani said the IIT's action was challenged in court. The court had upheld IITs' right to ensure that academic performance, that the students themselves gave an undertaking to uphold, was met.

"IIT, Roorkee undertook an initiative to take these students back only if they yet again fulfill those academic standards that they gave an undertaking when they entered into the system," she noted.

AIADMK member P Sundaram asked her about the issue at IIT, Chennai where students were apparently prevented from enriching their knowledge through forums like Periyar-Ambedkar Study Circle. In response, Irani said in the case of IIT Chennai, it is the institution, the Academic Executive Council and the Students Council which has elected representatives of student bodies within the institution, that set benchmarks for activities undertaken by any individual within that campus.

90 percent of IIT-R dropouts are backward caste: Is this a case against against affirmative action? - First Post



by G Pramod Kumar  Aug 5, 2015 17:41 IST

The revelation that 90 percent of the students that IIT Roorkee gave a second chance to after expelling them for poor performance last month belong to backwards castes (SCs, STs and OBCs) is hardly surprising because the writing has always been on the wall.

Affirmative action (reservation in Indian terms) does give backward caste students opportunities for engineering education in the country’s premier institutions, but once admitted, many of them struggle to cope with the twin-pressure of academics and neglect by a merit-driven ecosystem. Many of them drop to the bottom and, as the Roorkee experience shows, gets ejected from their dream of a high-paying profession and class transition.

The decision of the Roorkee IIT to expel 73 students with poor performance (measured in terms of CGPA — cumulative grade point average) was an eye-opener to the condition of many kids who make the near impossible entry into the hallowed IIT campuses. On Wednesday, The Indian Express reported that 90 percent of them were from SCs, STs and OBCs. The proponents of meritocracy will like this statistic because they have long been arguing that technical education is not for everyone and merit should be its bedrock.

The alleged suicide of a Dalit student at IIT Mumbai last year provided a glimpse of the suffering of backward caste students in institutions such as IITs: his performance in exams had been poor, he had uncleared papers for three years, and was a victim of taunts by general category students and even a faculty member. Reporting the case, DNA said that about 56 percent of students at the institution under reserved categories felt discrimination. More over, about 60 percent of them also felt more pressured by academics than the general category students. Their difficulty showed up in their CGPA as well — while the average CGPA for the general category students was 8.09, for the OBC-students it was 6.6, and for the SC/ST, 5.9.

This is a serious problem — governments upholding the country’s constitutional guarantee to a level playing field for students from backward castes, but failing to ensure that they benefit from it. About 50 percent of the seats are set aside for them, but if substantial number of them fall through the cracks — as the Roorkee figures show — it serves no purpose. Even if they sail through, what’s the use of an average CGPA of 5? Will any company hire students with such a low CGPA? A wasted guarantee and opportunity indeed.

This social chasm is not without underlying reasons. An earlier study by the prestigious Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram that analysed the academic performance of all the engineering colleges in Kerala during 2004-08 showed that only 17.7 percent SC/ST students passed their final exams. The corresponding figure for the OBCs was better at 40 percent. According to CP John, a member of Kerala’s state planning board, this was because of poor fundamentals. Reservation helps the backward caste students to gain admission, but their poor schooling pulls them back. “The SC/ST students who come from these schools (poorly run government schools) and get into engineering colleges cannot comprehend what is being taught there.”

This is exactly what’s happening in the IITs too. The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to IITs is the toughest admission test in the world. Although about 9000 students get shortlisted from about 13.5 lakh aspirants, only those within the first 2000-2500 rank can get a good course and a decent location. The rest end up doing undesirable courses in also-ran IITs. This means that only 0.2 percent of the candidates make the final cut. Although this top layer students are extremely competitive, many of them also succumb to pressure and lose out. An anonymous post on Quora categories them as hope, dope and rope. Yes, it’s tragic that a few of them end up in drugs, while some even commit suicide.

In such a competitive environment, reserved category students with limited preparation (mostly because of poor schooling and poor exposure to a fierce exam-based academics) are at a far greater disadvantage, which is not going to disappear until the reservation policy is deepened with a greater sense of purpose. It calls for a system-revamp to ensure that the backward caste students get good school education right from elementary levels (means strengthening government schools and a lot more scholarships) and an additional layer of affirmative action — in the form of extra tuition classes, one-on-one consultations etc — even after they gain admission into places such as the IITs.

What we see now is the problem of an impersonal, quota-based system. Governments and political parties don’t mean any purpose, than wooing their vote-banks, while setting aside quotas and filling them. Every single case needs to be audited and taken to its logical end. And it has to start all the way from the bottom when children are enrolled in schools.

Over 4,400 students dropout of IITs, NITs in three years - Deccan Herald

New Delhi, Aug 5, 2015, (PTI)


Over 4,400 students dropped out of IITs and NITs in the last three years due to various reasons including "academic stress", the government said today and assured that corrective actions have been initiated.

As many as 2,060 students dropped out from various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) from 2012-13 to 2014-15, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

During this three-year period, 2,352 students dropped out from the National Institutes of Technology (NITs).

"The reasons for dropouts may be attributed to shifting to other colleges/institutions, personal reasons, medical reasons, getting jobs during PG courses, inability to cope with academic stress etc," Irani said in a written reply.

In 2014-15, IITs witnessed 757 dropouts which was higher than 697 dropouts (2013-14) and 606 (2012-13). During this period, IIT Roorkee saw the highest number of dropouts at 228, followed by IIT Kharagpur (209) and IIT Delhi (169).

Interestingly, there were no dropouts at IITs in Mandi, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Madras and Ropar during 2014-15 period.

There are 16 IITs and 30 NITs in the country.

Of the NITs, there were 717 dropouts in 2014-15, lower than 785 seen in the year-ago period. In 2012-13, the dropout numbers stood at 850.

Irani said there is a mechanism for helping students who are under stress. The government is committed to address issues related to academic stress, she added.

Listing out various initiatives that are in place to minimise dropouts at IITs, Irani said there is a guidance and counselling unit, headed by a faculty member. It works closely along with a number of faculty counsellors and advisors to "identify students facing emotional difficulties and guide them to professional counsellors for help".

Interestingly, while responding to a supplementary query on whether academic pressure is causing suicide by IIT students, Irani asserted this was "incorrect".

Referring to the member, the Minister said his indication that "children in the IIT ecosystem and IIT family are committing suicides because they are unable to keep up with the pressure that the academic environment in the IIT has, is incorrect".

Irani also assured that any challenge that IIT students present to the faculty within the IIT ecosystem would be met in a supportive fashion.

To another query, she said, "I had said that I contest the fact that there is no mechanism available within the IITs to address issues with regard to either academic stress" or that more problems are faced by children from weaker segments of society.

"I would like to firmly state here with all humility that to say that students do not take stress is not a statement that I made. I said that we have provided a mechanism that a student under stress within this eco system can approach and seek help and guidance from," Irani noted.

She was responding to AIADMK member M Thambidurai, also the Deputy Speaker, who asked the Minister about the anomaly in the written and oral responses.

To a query about IIT Roorkee expelling 73 students last month for less academic scores, Irani said the IIT's action was challenged in court. The court had upheld IITs' right to ensure that academic performance, that the students themselves gave an undertaking to uphold, was met.

"IIT, Roorkee undertook an initiative to take these students back only if they yet again fulfill those academic standards that they gave an undertaking when they entered into the system," she noted.

AIADMK member P Sundaram asked her about the issue at IIT, Chennai where students were apparently prevented from enriching their knowledge through forums like Periyar-Ambedkar Study Circle.

In response, Irani said in the case of IIT Chennai, it is the institution, the Academic Executive Council and the Students Council which has elected representatives of student bodies within the institution, that set benchmarks for activities undertaken by any individual within that campus.