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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Suicide at IIT-B: Panel set up to suggest preventive measures - Indian Express

Suicide at IIT-B: Panel set up to suggest preventive measures

The aim is to ensure that the institute can more effectively address issues of students.


At present, there are two student counsellors and one counselling coordinator on campus, which has a student population of over 8,000.

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | 
Published on:May 8, 2015 2:06 am

After a 21-year-old chemical engineering student of IIT- Bombay killed himself on the terrace of one of the hostels on the campus last week, the institute director has constituted a three-member committee to “deliberate on the unfortunate incident and to suggest preventive measures” for the future.

The aim is to ensure that the institute can more effectively address issues of students, who may be suffering from depression or have problems in settling in a competitive environment.

According to institute officials, the current procedure to identify students who may be having problems on campus, academic or personal, is through inputs that come from fellow students, student mentors, instructors and faculty advisors.

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“Students who demonstrate signs of psychological issues are assessed by the counsellors, who decide if intervention is needed and if so, to what extent. Counselling is usually a long-drawn process, with regular meetings with student counsellors and/or psychiatrists as the case may be. Regular assessment of the student is done in the follow-up visits and he or she is monitored regularly,” said Prof Anindya Datta, Associate Dean (Student Affairs), IIT Bombay.

At present, there are two student counsellors and one counselling coordinator on campus, which has a student population of over 8,000.

Jitesh Sharma’s body was found last Saturday evening at around 7 pm on the terrace of hostel number 15 B in the campus. According to the police, the suicide note stated that he was worried about the results of his exams and was apprehensive about not getting a good placement. According to officials, the student was undergoing regular counselling sessions since the beginning of this semester and hence his parents knew that he was depressed.

Datta further said that currently, friends and batchmates are taken into confidence for academic help and mild social anxiety. “Friends also help in giving a good support structure till a particular point in small adjustment problems. They also help in bringing their friends who are in distress and continue to give feedback in the long run,” he added.

Further, parents of students, who are facing more serious problems and need family support, are contacted and informed of the situation. “If the student needs medical attention, this as a matter of rule is done with the parents in picture and are given advice as per the treating doctor. In case of any discipline-related matter, the parents are kept informed,” said another official.


mihika.basu@expressindia.com