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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

329 - IIT looks to better its counselling services - TNN

Yogita Rao,TNN | May 4, 2015, 11.52 PM IST

MUMBAI: IIT-Bombay will set up a committee to look into the changes that need to be brought about in the counselling services offered by the institute. The move came after a third-year chemical engineering student, Jitesh Sharma, committed suicide on Saturday. 

Sharma had been undergoing treatment for depression for a year over his mounting backlogs in previous years, said the police. The institute plans to bolster the practices followed on campus to help students deal with such problems. 

A new initiative, though not related to the Saturday incident, aims at improving students' competency in English language as it will also help them comprehend the syllabus better. 

Officials are toying with the idea of offering English as a formal course to all freshmen on the campus. It is just one of the solutions that a panel of students and professors will be discussing this week in a meeting. 

Students' feedback over their competency in the English language and their expectations from the institute is also being sought in the form of a survey. 

Though the process to set up the committee and hold discussions was initiated some time ago, the first meeting of the committee will be held on Thursday. The students' media body on campus, Insight, has sought feedback from the students on behalf of the institute. 

The Insight post on Facebook read: "It is well known that the language barrier is one of the key issues hampering students in IIT-Bombay. Students coming from different backgrounds and different corners of the country have to face the burden of a common medium of instruction- English. The institute recognizes this issue and is keen on providing support and resources to students. A committee has been set up to find a permanent solution to the problem." 

Shubham Goyal, the general secretary of academic affairs, said informal initiatives had always been taken in the past but the latest initiative would be more formal. "We have sought information from students on whether they need help in reading, writing, speaking skills," Goyal said. 

Sharma's body was flown back to Rohtak on Monday morning, said a source on the campus. 

DCP Vinayak Deshmukh said the blood sample would be sent for forensic analysis. 

The officer said that the post-mortem report was yet to come in and that there was no complaint registered by the parents. 

Director Devang Khakhar said the institute would soon be setting up a committee to find what more could be done. 

A professor said more people on the campus should be equipped to identify warning signs at an early stage of depression.