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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Is IIT-Madras a concentration camp? - YNN

October 24, 2015, 6:13 PM IST 


In the wake of two suicides by students in IIT-Madras in the space of a few weeks, a student there has written an online essay describing the situation in the campus (What has gone wrong with IIT-Madras?) It is frightening


“Inside the campus it is a widely accepted fact that a majority of students are depressed,” wrote Arya Prakash.

Suicides in IITs have received wide attention. A blog (Why Are So Many IIT Madras Students Trying To Kill Themselves?) hosted by a former IIT student tracks the number of suicides every year. The trend is disturbing as things may be getting worse. Beginning 1981, the blog has tracked 68 suicides. Last year, 2014, witnessed the most in a single year.

Arya Prakash’s essay is specific to conditions at IIT-Madras. It makes for depressing reading and leads one to question the campus environment created by authorities.

One of the points raised by Arya Prakash is generic. He points out the academic system in IIT is in favour of students who have had access to top notch schooling and are fluent in English.

In a story written on IITs by Business Today in 2013, IIT-Madras’ Director, Bhaskar Ramamurthi, addressed this issue.
“We will have the problem of extremely diverse groups with language and social adjustment problems. We have to gear up to handle this – a lot of counseling, handholding in the first year,” said Ramamurthi, Director of IIT Madras.(Is Brand IIT broken?).

The effort put in by Ramamurthi’s team does not seem effective.

The problem could lie in the possibility that IIT-Madras is doing a bad job of dealing with students’ issues because they are not mentally geared to do so. A description of the campus atmosphere by Arya Prakash suggests that may be the case.
The campus has a students’ counselling centre called Mitr. Arya Prakash wrote that Mitr coordinators spy on students and fail to keep things in confidence. If that is the case, Mitr ought to be shut down.

The campus atmosphere is pathetic if students feel there is someone watching them.

There are other reasons why it is difficult to escape the conclusion that IIT-Madras resembles a concentration camp.
Araya Prakash wrote that there is hushed moral policing and relationships are seen as unhealthy.

In addition, there are peculiar rules on attendance, awful food which is compulsory and a few other inconveniences. The overarching message is depressing. It is tragic that highly motivated students are forced to survive such an unpleasant campus atmosphere.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

Comments:


Lucknow

primary reason for depression and suicide is not able to do well academically as compared to other students! this has no correlation to language facilities! the boys who were toppers and recipients of national scholarship and other accolades suddenly cannot reconcile to poor grades !they are though very intelligent have no interest in engineering! iit must facilitate their changeover to pure sciences,humanities or management !i remember, long back, iit kanpur expelled students for poor performance in first year and most of them became ias officers or did extremely well in management! minister of hrd must appoint consultant to suggest way to remove the rigidities and dysfunction of iit madras and save precious talent from withering away in such a heartless manner!