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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Wife Arrested For Abetting Husband’s Suicide CRIME - Sakshi Post


Wife Arrested For Abetting Husband’s Suicide 
CRIME 

November 2, 2018, 11:20 am Updated: November 2, 2018, 12:58 pm

Hyderabad: The Punjagutta police have arrested Pavani, the wife of a software employee, T Prashanth (who had earlier committed suicide on October 30th ), on charges of abetment to suicide. The arrest was based on his suicide note and an audio tape conversation between them that was leaked recently . The It has come to light that she refused to mend to her ways and rebuffed his request to stop her relations with the other man (Pranay Vemula), in a rather rude manner. Hurt by her indifferent behaviour, Prashanth hung himself at his residence in Srinagar Colony.

In a suicide note allegedly written by him, Prashanth had stated that his wife Pavani was into a relationship with one person Pranay Vemula in Bengaluru where she was working and that she cheated him multiple times and asked him to die.

Another audio clip of a conversation between Prashanth and his brother-in-law also went viral earlier on social media, where he told his brother-in-law of his intention to die as his wife was not listening to him and this had upset him and that he would rather die than face this humiliation.

The couple both software engineers got married in 2014 and were living together in Hyderabad. Prashanth ( an IIT Kharagpur topper ) and his family tried to counsel her to stop her relations, but she made it clear that she wasn't interested in living with him anymore.


Pavani was arrested when she came to the mortuary and the police have registered a case under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of IPC.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Techie hangs self over wife’s alleged affair - New Indian Express

Hyderabad: 



Meanwhile, an audio clip of an alleged conversation between Prashanth and his brother went viral on social media.

Published: 31st October 2018 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st October 2018 08:15 AM
  |  A+A A-


Image used for representational purpose only.
By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: A man allegedly committed suicide at his flat in Punjagutta here late Sunday night which came to light on Tuesday. According to police, Tirunagari Prashanth, an alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur had committed suicide after coming to know of his wife’s alleged affair with another person. 

Police found a note purportedly written by Prashanth, stating that he was not happy with his wife Pavani. 

Meanwhile, an audio clip of an alleged conversation between Prashanth and his brother went viral on social media. In the audio, Prashanth is heard telling that Pavani did not change her ways and he was upset with her. Though his brother was heard comforting him, Prashanth was heard saying that he was unable to bear the torture and will end his life.

According to police, Prashanth (34) was married to Pavani in 2016. He is working in a  software firm in the city and residing in a rented flat at Srinagar colony, while Pavani is working for a tech firm in Bengaluru. Few months into marriage, he found that Pavani had an affair with one Vemula Pranay, who is believed to be her childhood friend.

Brother raises doubt over IIT Kharagpur student’s suicide - Indian Express


Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended on Challagundla, when the body of Hanimi Reddy was brought to his native on Friday.

Published: 27th October 2018 09:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2018 09:12 AM
  

Image used for representational purpose only.
By Express News Service


GUNTUR: The family of Gangireddy Hanimi Reddy (24), the IIT Kharagpur second-year M Tech student who was found hanging in his room on the campus on Wednesday evening, is not ready to accept that he had committed suicide. 


On reaching Kharagpur on Thursday morning, Gangireddy’s elder brother G Venugopal Reddy lodged a complaint with the police. He requested the cops to examine his brother’s call records over the last six months and his internet browsing history from his mobile phone and laptop. He said his brother took notes from the internet and requested sleuths to examine those as well.

Gangireddy hailed from Challagundla in Guntur. His father G Venkata Reddy is a farmer. “We want a thorough probe. When I spoke to him days ago, he sounded absolutely normal. The West Bengal Police or CID should investigate properly and must not try to hush it up,” said Venugopal. At Midnapore Medical College Hospital morgue, the student’s batchmate Abhishek Gupta said, “When we found his room locked from inside, we informed the security who called the police. Cops broke open the door and found him hanging.” 


West Midnapore SP Alok Rajoria said, “We have seized his mobile and laptop and are awaiting the autopsy report.” Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended on Challagundla, when the body of Hanimi Reddy was brought to his native on Friday.

IIT Kharagpur student from Andhra found hanging in hostel room, kin demand probe - News Minute

Suicide
"The family members are not ready to accept that Reddy committed suicide and have demanded a detailed probe," an investigating officer said.


Image for representation

An IIT-Kharagpur student, who hailed from Andhra Pradesh, was found hanging inside his room, the local police said on Friday.

"Gangireddy Hanimi Reddy, a second-year M.Tech student, was found hanging on Wednesday night. Initial probe suggests suicide but an autopsy report can reveal how he actually died," said a senior police officer of West Midnapore district in West Bengal.

The officer said security guards of the institute were informed by the students that Reddy's room had been locked for a long time. He was sharing his room with one other student. Officials later broke open the door and found him hanging inside.

"The family members are not ready to accept that Reddy committed suicide and have demanded a detailed probe," the officer said.

According to media reports, Reddy was the son of a farmer. Family members of the student demanded that he sounded completely normal when they spoke to him and expressed shock over the incident.

IIT's registrar B N Singh said there was no academic pressure on Reddy.

"He was a good student. MTech second year involves project work. The project completion time and the placements both are far away. So, there was apparently no academic pressure."
"As per the supervisors, he was doing well. His death is very unfortunate. We informed the police at the right time and the rest is a matter of investigation," Singh said.

A post mortem was conducted on the body before it was handed over to the family members of the deceased. A forensic report is awaited and is expected to arrive in a matter of days. The police said that an investigation had begun into the incident and find out the reason behind the student taking the extreme step.


If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help.
Life Suicide Prevention Helpline No.78930-78930
Roshni Helpline 1: +91-66202000, Helpline 2: +91-27848584


IANS inputs

IIT Kharagpur student found hanging in hostel room; probe launched into death of 24-year-old - First Post

India FP Staff Oct 26, 2018 08:36:43 IST

A 24-year-old MTech student of IIT Kharagpur was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room, the police said.
G Amini Reddy, hailing from a farmer's family of Andhra Pradesh, used to share the room with another student who could not find him for a long time and alerted the security on Wednesday night, Superintendent of police Alok Rajoria said.

As the police was informed, they broke open the door and found Reddy, a final year student of electrical engineering, hanging from the ceiling fan of his room which was locked from inside. An autopsy was conducted on Thursday, he said.

A probe has been launched by the police, reported Hindustan Times. “Primary investigation points at suicide though it can be confirmed only after the post-mortem examination is conducted,” he said.


Updated Date: Oct 26, 2018 08:36 AM

Student from Andhra Pradesh found hanging at IIT Kharagpur -

He hailed from a peasant family
25 October 2018, 11:21 am


Midnapore: An engineering student has been found hanging in his hostel room at IIT Kharagpur. He hailed from Andhra Pradesh and it is assumed that he has committed suicide.
Deceased Gangireddy Hanimi Reddy (24) had taken admission into electrical engineering course at the IIT in July last year and made it to the second year in mid this year. He had been lodging in the Madan Mohan Malviya Hostel located on the campus.

Some of his co-boarders last night noticed that Reddy’s room was bolted from inside for a long time. This made them knock on the door repeatedly but that did not elicit a response.
Following this, they alerted the hostel superintendent. The authorities, in turn, informed Kharagpur police station. A police team came, broke open the door and found Reddy hanging from the ceiling fan. Police sent the body for post-mortem.

Reddy’s classmates and the police suspect that he has ended his life due to depression. Albeit, it is not clear at this point as to what was it that pushed the young student into suicidal depression. No suicide note has also been found in his room.


IIT Kharagpur authorities have informed his family back in Andhra Pradesh about the unfortunate incident. Sources said that Reddy’s family members have left for Kharagpur early this morning. His father, Gangireddy Venkata Reddy, is a farmer.

IIT Kharagpur Student Found Hanging From Ceiling Fan of Hostel Room - India.Com

West Bengal: IIT Kharagpur Student Found Hanging From Ceiling Fan of Hostel Room



Published: October 25, 2018 1:58 PM IST



Representational Image
Midnapore: A 24-year-old MTech student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room. The deceased has been identified as G Amini Reddy and came from a farmer’s family of Andhra Pradesh.
Reddy used to share the room with another student who could not find him for a long time and alerted the security on Wednesday night, Superintendent of police Alok Rajoria said.
As the police were informed, they broke open the door and found Reddy, a final year student of electrical engineering, hanging from the ceiling fan of his room which was locked from inside.
An autopsy would be carried out today, police informed.
In an earlier incident on September 22, a final year student of the IIT Madras allegedly committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling of his room. Shahul Kornath (23), from Malappuram in Kerala, was pursuing his B Tech-M Tech (dual degree) Naval architecture programme, police and the institute administration said. However, no suicide note was found from his room, police added. According to police, he could have been under “some kind of pressure due to low attendance”, but added that a detailed probe was on. 

Student found hanging in IIT Kharagpur hostel room; probe underway - IB Times


24-year-old Gangireddy Hanimi Reddy hailed from Andhra Pradesh and was a final year student at IIT Kharagpur.


Oct 25, 2018 13:54 IST 

An MTech student of IIT Kharagpur was found hanging from a ceiling fan inside his hostel room on Wednesday evening.
24-year-old Gangireddy Hanimi Reddy hailed from Andhra Pradesh and was a final year student, staying at the Madan Mohan Malviya hall. The incident came to light when his roommate alerted the IIT security personnel on Wednesday night, said Superintendent of police Alok Rajoria.

After the police were informed, they broke open the door and found Reddy, hanging from the ceiling fan of his room. The police could not find any suicide note in the room. They are also looking at his mobile phone and laptop to get further information. None of his friends knew what compelled him to go to such an extent to end his life.

"It is sad and unfortunate incident. We are trying to collate all details," said IIT Kharagpur Director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti.



IIT Kharagpur student found hanging in hostel room - Hindustan Times


The body of Gangireddy Hanimi Reddy (24), a second year student of M Tech (electrical engineering), was found hanging in his room at the Madan Mohan Malavya Hall in institute’s campus.

INDIA Updated: Oct 25, 2018 19:06 Ist

HT Correspondent 

The body of Gangireddy Hanimi Reddy (24), a second year student of M Tech (electrical engineering), was found hanging in his room at the Madan Mohan Malavya Hall in institute’s campus. (Representative Photo)

An IIT-Kharagpur student, who hailed from Andhra Pradesh, was found hanging inside his room on Wednesday night although no suicide note was found immediately.

The body of Gangireddy Hanimi Reddy (24), a second year student of M Tech (electrical engineering), was found hanging in his room at the Madan Mohan Malavya Hall in institute’s campus.

“We have not found any suicide note. We are trying to open and examine his laptop and mobile phone to find out what led him to take his drastic step,” said East Midnapore district superintendent of police, Alok Rajoria.

“Primary investigation points at suicide though it can be confirmed only after the post-mortem examination is conducted,” he said.




Teachers and students at the premier institute said that no one saw him since Wednesday evening and the matter was reported with the administration.

“The incident is unfortunate. His family has been informed. We too are trying to find out what led to this suicide,” said IIT-Kgp deputy director S K Bhattacharya.

“He was a bright student,” said a student at electrical engineering department who did not want to be identified. “He betrayed no sense of depression.”

Last year, three deaths of IIT Kharagpur students were reported. In January 2017, Lokesh Meena from Rajasthan had thrown himself in front of a moving train while in March, the body of Sana Sreeraj, an electrical engineering student from Andhra Pradesh, was found along the railway tracks. In April that year, Nidhin N, a student from Kerala studying aerospace engineering, had killed himself inside the hostel room.
First Published: Oct 25, 2018 14:40 Ist

Why IITs can't stand up to competition - Daily O


The institutes, which are the cream of our higher education system, rank poorly in the latest global education surveys.

 |  5-minute read |   08-09-2016


In the past week, two of the most looked upto rankings of university rankings - Reuters Top 75: Asia's Most Innovative Universities list and QS world universities rankings - were released. Both had much disappointment in store for Indian higher education institutes, including IITs.

According to the Reuters survey, the IITs, the highest-ranking institutions in the country, occupy the 72nd spot, while of the top 20 universities, 17 are in Japan and South Korea. Similarly, in the QS world rankings, none of the much-touted IITs make it to the global top 200. Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) - Bombay (219), Madras (249), Kanpur (302), Kharagpur (313) and Roorkee (399) are the six institutions that make it to the top 400.

Why is it that even the IITs, which are the cream of our higher education system, rank so poorly in these rankings? Is it an indictment of our higher education system or does the fault lie more with the way these rankings are arrived at?

Student faculty ratio (SFR)
Student faculty ratio is an important parametre that most rankings consider. The IITs often fare poorly on this front despite having much better faculty student ratio than other Indian institutes. While some blame can be apportioned to measures taken to expand student strength and the new IITs not having requisite faculty presence, a significant reason why IITs get an abysmal score on this front is because globally universities often use vastly varying interpretations for who qualifies as faculty.

It is common practice for some universities to include post-doctoral scholars or research staff in the faculty count, resulting in better student-faculty ratios, whereas the IITs only include full-time faculty members, which leads to the corresponding ranking.

Suboptimal research culture
Research citation and output are perhaps the most ubiquitous and important parametres used in these rankings. But here again the IITs miss out due to a variety of factors - fund shortage, inadequate research infrastructure, the nature of their origin as institutes creating professionals, rather than researchers, less inclination among students towards research, et al.

Low internationalisation
Presence of international faculty and students in an institute brings greater diversity. The rankings too consider how well an institute does on this front. IITs as well as almost all other Indian institutes fare abysmally when it comes to the ranking - not one Indian institute figures even among the global top 700.
There are only 130 foreign scholars enrolled in post-graduate courses and about 100 for PhDs, against 25,000 Indian students enrolled in the same programmes. The absence of international students is as much about unwillingness as it is about inability. The IITs are too strained to meet domestic demands and, in such a scenario, opinion remains divided on how far IITs should go to incorporate foreign students.

Also, the best of global students find little reason to come to the IITs, and opt for top western universities that have a legacy to bank on and also figure higher in the rankings students rely on.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is known for innovation way more than the IITs. Photo: MIT.Edu

Insufficient collaboration with industry
Collaboration with industry influences rankings, if not as a direct parametre, then as a factor influencing research output, endowments that institutes get, faculty quality (based on sufficient interchange of industry professionals and faculty) and facilitating students to adapt to change.

In the past two decades, much progress has been made, yet, in comparison with the global standards, collaboration of higher education institutions with the industry is woeful. This is another drag for the IIT rankings.

IIT's don't give rankings their due importance IITs have, for a very long time, been indifferent or even agonistic to global rankings. Owing to their oncerN's with primary aims as well as their dominance in India, which lessen the need to pay heed to the rankings, IITs get ranks that are not reflective of their true standards.

IITs often miss submissions of data, and the ranking body then sources it from less favourable front. Similarly, any institute can send names of people associated with it to help QS send questionnaires to the right people. Foreign institutes send 400-500 names; IIT Kanpur, for instance, sent only 28 in 2013. Without adequate data, a ranking body like QS will survey less significant sources leading to the IITs losing out.

Poor endowment and funding
A major cause behind poor score on other fronts remains the inability of the IITs to spend big. This is primarily due to the limited endowments and funding they receive. The seemingly mammoth endowments and funding all the IITs receive it pales in comparison to Harvard's 37.6 billion dollars. Many factors explain why the IITs fare poorly compared to their foreign counterparts - the legacy of not keeping alumni sufficiently involved, low fees, less income from research and their location in a nation with low per capita income - being the most prominent.

Slow adaptation to change, their confinement to excellence in technology (while the best across the globe are multi-disciplinary in their outlook) and centralised and bureaucratic control only further impedes excellence.

For better or for worse, IITs are seen as a benchmark in India's higher education system. Their dismal performance in the global rankings, therefore, highlights the long distance our education system must cover before India can become a leading knowledge-driven economy.







I went to IIT. Let me tell you why it's not great - Daily O



We really need to build world-class liberal arts colleges in India so that bright minds interested in history do not end up studying mechanical engineering.

 |  5-minute read |   21-07-2017



In case you are looking at the headline and thinking it to be a case of sour grapes - let me put your mind to rest at the outset.
I did study in an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) myself. I studied electrical engineering at IIT Kharagpur and then got an MBA degree from IIM Ahmedabad. After a stint in the corporate world (I was co-head of Irevna, an S&P company), I now run a school which has been celebrated for its innovative methods of teaching.

Now that my bio-data is out of the way, let’s think about this contradiction: our IITs select less than 1 per cent of the students who apply. But their own ranking in world university rankings is nowhere in the top 100. In the latest QS World University rankings, IIT Delhi ranked at 172, IIT Madras at 264 and IIT Kharagpur at 308.

Before we trash the ranking in the spirit of patriotism, let’s examine the scientific contribution of IITs vis-à-vis the western universities that rank at the top of the list. 

Very recently, Narayana Murthy, in his convocation address at Indian Institute of Science, mentioned how MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ranked number 1 in the QS list) helped transform the world because of some of the biggest inventions of the last 50 years - the global positioning system, bionic prostheses and microchip all emerged from there.

In the same speech, he also mentioned that almost all modern inventions such as computers, internet, wifi, MRI, laser, robots and many other gadgets and technology came about thanks to research by western universities.

Compared to the Western universities, he goes on to add, there has not been a single invention from India in the last 60 years that has become a household name globally, nor any idea that led to any "earth-shaking" invention to "delight global citizens".
But you may say, hold on, our IITs may not have created great products, but at least they created great people – the IITians who went on to become very successful in many fields, ranging from politics to academia to the corporate world. But that argument is clearly flawed.

If you are taking in the top one per cent of the population, of course, there will be quite a few among them who will be exceptionally successful. The great success of IITians just proves that the input was great. It proves nothing about the value-addition done to the input. IITians who have achieved spectacular success in life did so in spite of the mediocre education at the IITs, not because of it.

What exactly is wrong with the education offered at the IITs?

Firstly, most students are not interested in the discipline that they choose. They aren’t really interested in even being engineers – they are just there because their parents, peers and society told them to take a shot at IIT, because if you are good at academics, then how is that you haven’t proven it by taking the IIT-JEE exam?

Top ranking MIT has helped transform the world because of some of the biggest inventions of the last 50 years. Photo: Reuters

As a result, we begin our scientific education by the most unthinking, unscientific approach towards choosing careers. The brightest minds who are supposed to think independently make a beginning by following the herd.

Secondly, the curriculum is overloaded with obscure theory. Too many courses are crammed within a semester. Other than choosing the stream, students do not have much freedom in choosing the subjects.

The IITs are supposed to train students for a professional career, yet other than a perfunctory psychology or an economics course, there is hardly any well-thought out curriculum to develop the soft-skills of students.

At the point of entry, IITs are burdened with the weight of Kota-trained students with low social-skills and zero social awareness who study physics, chemistry and maths from 6th standard, at the exclusion of every other skill – and the four-year stint at IIT does not really improve that.

After IIT, most people choose one of the three paths – an MS abroad, a stint as a software engineer, or an MBA degree in India. Most of those paths do not require any knowledge of electrical engineering or metallurgical engineering or whatever else they specialised in.

They do require reading skills and thinking skills (GRE, CAT and software company aptitude tests), and people skills (interviews and getting letters of recommendations) – so the IITians now start frenziedly learning the skills that they hitherto neglected. But that learning does not happen inside the classrooms, and IITs themselves can claim little credit for it. However, being talented individuals, most students do master those skills too, over time.

I can go on. The conditions of the hostels do not behove a world class institute. The projects that the students do are hardly original. Classes are mostly uninspiring and do not break any new ground in pedagogy. The tradition of ragging – well, it is sad to see people at the premier scientific institutions believing in tradition, that too something as silly as that.

Why is there still such a craze for IITs? Why do we see full-page advertisements in newspapers by IITJEE coaching centres? To answer that, we need to look at the ranking of our liberal arts universities.

Calcutta University and University of Mumbai rank below 750. Compared to them, the IITs seem to be doing well. We really need to build world-class liberal arts colleges in India so that bright minds interested in history do not end up studying mechanical engineering.

Another reason behind the craze for IITs is that our minds are rooted in the past. There was a time when engineering and medicine were the only sure shot routes to a job after graduation. But thanks to liberalisation and the subsequent economic boom, after the 1990s, one does not need to be an engineer or doctor to get a job after graduation. But the minds of most middle-class parents are still stuck in the 1970s-80s, when engineering was one of the very few options guaranteeing a job.

We need to open these minds. We need to open the minds of parents and children to the unlimited career options that are there in today’s world. We need our best minds to study whatever they are passionate about. But before that, we need to stop believing in the myth of IITs being the best. We need to start building institutions which are really world-class.



Six reasons why we must get rid of IIT-JEE - Daily O


The entrance process is such that IITs produce unidimensional graduates who may not even be interested in the subjects they gave many years of their life to.

 |  8-minute read |   28-10-2018



We should get rid of the IIT-JEE. Given the iconic status of the IITs and the resulting craze for its famed entrance exam in India, this statement may come across almost as blasphemy.
But IITs are scientific institutions, and the tradition of science is to hold nothing sacred and examine everything through the less of evidence.

Radical as it may sound, this sentiment has been gaining ground of late. The HRD ministry mooted a proposal to radically reform the IIT-JEE by even dismantling the JEE-Advanced, the flagship exam for the IITs. That proposal, however, was shot down by the IIT council a couple of months back. This rigidity to re-examine, introspect and improve oneself is alarming, and that is indeed the root cause of many of the flaws of this celebrated exam.

The test has been gamed by coaching centers
When a high-stakes exam, watched closely by millions of people, is not redesigned for years, the stakeholders manage to decipher it completely.


Coaching centers have figured out the typical problems given in the exam, built a library of similar problems, and approaches to solving them. (Photo: YouTube/screengrab)

Lakhs of students take the IIT-JEE every year. It is the gateway to the dream destination for those students, the source of the ultimate bragging right for millions of their parents, and the fountain of unlimited riches for the coaching centres. With so much at stake, it’s no wonder that the exam is watched closely and patterns of its questions analysed in great detail.

On top of that, the exam has not seen any radical redesign. Originally a single-phase exam, it was split between JEE-Mains and JEE-Advanced some years ago, but the main focus of the exam — testing high-level problem-solving abilities based on quantitative sums drawn from Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics — has remained the same over the past 30 years or so.

With so many interested parties avidly scrutinising the broadly unchanged exam for the past few decades, is it really a surprise that the exam no longer remains a test for raw brainpower?
The coaching centers have already figured out the typical problems given in the exam, built a huge library of similar problems, and approaches to solving them. They start drilling those problems and solutions in the students’ head from early years, often from as early as Class 8.

So what was once a test of intelligence (of the quantitative kind, admittedly) has become more of a test of how much money you can spend to access the best coaching centers, and how early you start your single-minded pursuit of this dream (or nightmare?).

The test has become so difficult so as to render it meaningless
If too many students compete for an exam and start preparing from an early age, it breeds an arms race. The same level of questions that separated students of different abilities ten years ago will cease to do so now — because everyone is simply more prepared to handle those questions. The questions need to become increasingly difficult to differentiate between students.
This is compounded by the fact that IIT-JEE tests skills in a narrow area — quantitative problem solving in Physics, Chemistry, and Math. It is possible for a student to attain a high level of mastery in a narrow area. With so many students attaining near-perfect competence in one narrow domain, the test must, over the years, become much, much more difficult to retain its ability to select — which is exactly what happened over the years.

If too many students compete for an exam and start preparing from an early age, it breeds an arms race. (Photo: PTI/file)

Instead, if the test evaluated wider (and possibly unrelated) skill sets — for example, quantitative skills, reading skills and social skills — it would have been difficult for students to master all of those to a certain level of perfection; and differentiation would have been possible through even a moderately challenging test.

It breeds unidimensional professionals
As a result of focusing so narrowly during the formative years of learning, millions of students are ignoring important skills needed for success at the workplace and in life.
In IIT-factories of Kota, and in similar cram-schools all over India, students are learning Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at the exclusion of all other skills necessary for success.
In future, they are often handicapped by an inability to read, write or speak at a level needed for professional success. They often lack nuanced social and historical awareness needed to become vibrant members of the society. Working solo with their textbooks for many years, they often underappreciate the value of teamwork and collaboration.
The comeuppance sometimes comes mid-career, when these unidimensional professionals cannot progress to managerial levels.
Sometimes, the day of reckoning comes sooner, as they get rejected in numerous interviews right at the beginning of their career due to the lack of ability to express themselves.
Sure, one can argue that many IITians become successful corporate leaders and entrepreneurs. However, that’s a tiny fraction of the graduates IITs churn out — most remain anonymous cubicle-dwellers in mid-level positions.

Students training for just one exam from early in life lack social and historical awareness needed to become vibrant members of the society. (Photo: PTI/file)

Given that the IITs pretty much get to choose the best from lakhs of school-leaving students, should we, as a nation, be happy with only a few success stories? Shouldn’t such ‘chosen elites’ have left a much stronger imprint, both in scientific domain and elsewhere?

The difficulty level of IIT-JEE makes studying in IIT redundant
To stay ahead of the coaching centers and to be able to differentiate between intensely prepared students, IIT-JEE now has to necessarily pose notoriously difficult sums to the aspirants. This simply meant that the level of sums posed have become more advanced, rather more inventive or creative.
While the exam theoretically stays within the prescribed syllabus, most of the problems posed in IIT-JEE are practically college-level sums. Even when I studied for IIT-JEE around 25 years back, the recommended Physics books for preparation were Fundamentals of Physics by Resnick and Halliday, and Problems in General Physics by I E Irodov: both college-level calculus-based physics books. I presume things have gotten only more difficult since then.
Now the question is: what is the value of a college education if you are expected to study a lot of college level stuff just to get there?

A college entrance exam should test interest
IIT-JEE fails miserably here. College admission processes in most advanced countries, notably in the US, check for the aspirant’s demonstrated interest in the college as well as the intended major. IIT-JEE, however, does nothing of that sort.
Lakhs of students, through unthinking herd mindset, pursue a dream that’s not really theirs. Many, after reaching their dream place, become disenchanted and end up switching careers to pursue MBA. For some, the frustration leads to drug-abuse. Some end up committing suicide. Even students who plod on and finish their degrees do not end up doing anything remotely related what they studied in IIT.

Such mismatches happen because unlike most other college admission processes, IIT-JEE restricts itself to a written exam, without any test of interest. Everyone knows that people are most productive when they work on areas that they are interested in. By not checking for this obvious area, IIT-JEE indirectly helps breed a discontent workforce.
For IITs, IIT-JEE is the hammer, and everything looks like a nail
I was delighted when a few IITs decided to offer a BS in Economics a few years back. Our society’s economic understanding is quite limited, which pulls us down. People from all strata of society fall for Ponzi schemes, unable to understand the relationship between risk and return. Most people do not appreciate the importance of copyrights and patents, hindering innovation and progress. In addition, common masses have a fetish for free goods that the government doles out, not knowing that there is no free lunch.

I thought an economics course at the IITs could go a long way to make our society more economically literate. However, that hope was soon belied, because I saw the selection process for this course is the same old IIT-JEE.
Yes — you heard it right, one has to master quantitative Physics, Chemistry and Math to be eligible to study economics, a discipline requiring vastly different skill sets.

Shouldn’t such ‘ elites’ have left a much stronger imprint, both in the scientific domain and elsewhere? (Photo: IIT Delhi's website)

Not only that, those Economics graduates need to study all the common first year engineering courses, including electrical circuits and mechanics of deformable bodies! Nothing can be more ill-conceived than that.

Solution: A standardised test
So, if IIT-JEE has outlived its utility, what could be the way forward? A clear solution is a standardised, skill-oriented exam like SAT or ACT. Almost all US universities accept SAT or ACT scores as one of their key admission criteria. Such a system will obviate the need for multiple selection processes and entrance examinations in India, reducing student burden significantly.
As such exams test a wide range of skills (reading, critical thinking, analysis of science and social sciences, problem solving, writing), it will also make our learning more skill-oriented.
We may argue that the cost of SAT is prohibitive for most Indians. If that is so, we can develop our own home-grown version. Sceptics may also reason that a standardised test like that does not test aptitude in subjects like Physics or Chemistry, so how will an elite engineering institute like IIT select students through such an exam?
Well, top-ranked scientific institutions of the world, including MIT and Caltech, use precisely this test to admit their students.
A person who is widely read, can communicate well through writing and can critically evaluate issues can become more successful as an engineer or scientist as opposed to one who has only a narrow mastery over a small range of subjects.
We Indians take our exams very seriously. The only way to get the nation to focus on skill building is to incorporate it into the exam system.
If we are really serious about addressing our skill-shortage, if we want our future generations to cope with the rapidly changing world, we must reform our exam system.
Radically, and urgently.











Saturday, October 20, 2018

Body Of 18-Year-Old IIT Aspirant Found Floating In Canal In Rajasthan - NDTV


Body Of 18-Year-Old IIT Aspirant Found Floating In Canal In Rajasthan

Sidharth Pal, a class 11 student, had gone missing from his hostel on Saturday, following which the hostel caretaker had lodged a "missing person" report, the police said.
Cities | Press Trust of India | Updated: October 17, 2018 22:37 IST

Sidharth Pal had spoken to his father last on Saturday evening, police said (Representational)

KOTA: The body of an 18-year-old IIT aspirant, missing from his coaching centre's hostel for the last four days, was found floating in a canal at Degod town, the police said on Wednesday.

The body of Sidharth Pal, hailing from Dhanbad district in Jharkhand, was found floating in the canal on Tuesday, said Degod police station in-charge Narayan Singh Hada.
Son of Pawan Chand Pal, a resident of Aamtal police station area in Dhanbad district, Pal had been preparing for the IIT entrance test, said Mr Hada.

He had been taking coaching at an institute in Kota since April this year and stayed at a private hostel in Vigyan Nagar, he said.

Vigyan Nagar police station SHO Neeraj Gupta said Sidharth Pal, a class 11 student, had gone missing from his hostel on Saturday, following which the hostel caretaker had lodged a "missing person" report.

The police had tried to trace his whereabouts, but in vain, Mr Gupta said, adding  Sidharth Pal was said to be "not regular" in attending classes and was "not performing well in tests" either.
Sidharth Pal had spoken to his father last on Saturday evening after which his mobile had gone off, the SHO said, adding the youth's father told him on phone that his son seemed depressed when he spoke to him.
The study stress and peers' pressure appear to have driven the youth to take the extreme step, Mr Gupta said, adding, no suicide note of the deceased was recovered.

He said the youth's body has been placed in the MBS Hospital mortuary for post-mortem, which would be carried out after the arrival of his family members from Jharkhand.

Body of Missing 18-Year-Old IIT Aspirant Found Floating In Canal In Rajasthan

Body of Missing 18-Year-Old IIT Aspirant Found Floating In Canal In Rajasthan

Sidharth Pal, from Dhanbad district in Jharkhand, had been undergoing coaching at an institute in Kota since April this year and stayed at a private hostel.


PTIUpdated:October 17, 2018, 11:37 PM IST

Kota: The body of an 18-year-old IIT aspirant, missing from his coaching centre's hostel for the last four days, was found floating in a canal at Degod town on Tuesday, said Degod police station in-charge Narayan Singh Hada.

Sidharth Pal, from Dhanbad district in Jharkhand, had been undergoing coaching at an institute in Kota since April this year and stayed at a private hostel in Vigyan Nagar. 




Son of Pawan Chand Pal, a resident of Aamtal police station area in Dhanbad district, Pal had been preparing for the IIT entrance test, said Hada.


Vigyan Nagar police station SHO Neeraj Gupta said Pal, a class 11 student, had gone missing from his hostel on Saturday, following which the hostel caretaker had lodged a "missing person" report. The police had tried to trace his whereabouts, but in vain, Gupta said, adding Pal was said to be "not regular" in attending classes and was "not performing well in tests" either.


Pal had spoken to his father last on Saturday evening after which his mobile had gone off, the SHO said, adding the youth's father told him on phone that his son seemed depressed when he spoke to him. 

The study stress and peers' pressure appears to have driven the youth to take the extreme step, Gupta said, adding, no suicide note has been recovered.

He said the youth's body has been placed in the MBS Hospital mortuary for post mortem, which would be carried out after the arrival of his family members from Jharkhand. 

RIP Shankar: Students, colleagues remember IAS academy founder- News Minute



"If I had succeeded, only I would have become an IAS officer. It is because I failed that I am able to create so many IAS and IPS officers," Shankar had famously said eight years ago.


A humble man in a white kurta paired with a ready smile, laidback attitude and unlimited knowledge. That is how students remember Shankar Devarajan, founder and CEO of Shankar IAS Academy, a popular civil services coaching institute in Tamil Nadu.

"He would always walk into class 15 minutes late with a loud 'Friendsss...' everyday! He would then wrap up the session early and tell us to discuss amongst ourselves. But we just wouldn't want him to stop teaching," says 28-year-old Soodhan Kannan, a student from the 2016 batch who is now working in the postal department. "Shankar sir taught us geography and once he starts teaching, you were just completely mesmerised," he adds.  


Thousands of grieving students like Soodhan had gathered outside the Academy's first ever centre in Anna Nagar on Friday, and the crowds were only growing as the shocking news of 45-year-old Shankar’s suicide spread through messages, emails and through social media.

The story of Shankar IAS Academy
Until Thursday, Shankar was training close to 300 students a year to pursue civil services. His academy, according to former IAS and IPS officers, was one of the finest institutions in south India. He began with a small group of 35 students in 2004 in Anna Nagar and in the 14 years that followed, he had expanded to Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Salem and Madurai. People all over India aspiring to become Indian Administrative Services, Indian Police Services and other elite bureaucratic service officers, were making a beeline to his academy for coaching.
But Shankar himself never cracked the IAS examinations. In fact he exhausted all his attempts.

In a column he wrote for Vikatan eight years ago, Shankar explains that he came from an impoverished home in Krishnagiri district. His father worked in a wine shop and while he managed to finish his masters, pressure to earn for the family grew as he attempted the civil services examination. He wrote the exam four times – in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

"I failed every time. And when the situation came to take a job, I decide I will use the experience I got from these failures to teach aspiring students. That is how it began," he wrote.

As the academy grew, word of its students’ success stories were everywhere and he brought in some of the best staff and guest lecturers to teach and motivate aspirants.

"He was more than a teacher to those students. He was a guide whom they could freely approach and talk to," says MLA Natraj, former IPS officer and DGP of prisons. "I used to address students there and have interacted with Shankar. He was a soft spoken and knowledgeable man," he said.

According to Balaji Manohar, Assistant commissioner in the GST department and a former student of the academy, the entire country waited for Shankar to release his answer key after the IAS prelims every year.

"All aspirants will check it to see how much they are likely to score. He would even predict the cut off," says the officer, who says he owes his entire success to Shankar.

Balaji was already 31, when he left America to settle back in India. He went to Shankar in 2012 and requested to be coached by him.

"Perhaps he saw himself in me. I had very few chances left but he always gave me hope. During the prelims, he told me to study the basics and be strong with that and told me to leave the current affairs part for the mains. He was absolutely spot on. The pattern of both papers was just as he predicted," says Balaji.

Former diplomat TP Sreenivasan who took classes at the academy tells TNM, "I have known him for over four years and he was so reserved. I used to teach international relations and I have seen him giving personal attention to every student there. His strength was that he did a lot of research. We used to use his notes to teach students.”

And despite all the work he put in, students say that he never forced them to study all the time.

"In fact, he would tell us that we should have a passion too, one that we follow outside of the IAS preparation," he explains.
And what was Shankar's passion? Cinema. A path he could never follow.

Love for acting
27-year-old Preethi Yogasundaram, an IT employee who is preparing for the civil service examinations, says that Shankar could mimic actors well.

"It was the last day of class for the 2015 batch and sir wanted to keep it light. He began to mimic actors," she recalls with delight. "This quiet man suddenly became so different. He acted out Sivaji Ganesan and other actors. But what I remember the most is his Jim Carrey impression. He acted like him from The Mask. The way he contorted his face, his walk and how he spoke. It was all perfect. I think he really wanted to be an actor," she says.

Preethi's guess is not far off. After completing his masters in Agriculture, Shankar came to Chennai to enter the cinema field. He spent a year and a half attempting to follow his passion but a chance in movies never came.

But Shankar doesn't mention any regrets about his decision in his column in Vikatan. In fact, he talks about his wife (girlfriend then), Vaishnavi, who supported him financially through his struggle.

"At home, the poverty was crushing. My family said, 'At least join a job where you get Rs 1000.' On the other side, Vaishnavi wanted to get married. I couldn't do both. Vaishnavi, who understood my problem, came to Delhi with me, took up a job and helped me study," he says in the column.


Later on, as Shankar's academy grew, it was his turn to support his wife as she pursued a PhD in IIT.

More than a teacher
Aspirants, alumni and officers who have emerged from Shankar's academy term his death a huge loss.

"His patience, how he treated all his students and readiness to clear doubts at any time. Nobody else can be that way,” Soodhan says.

MLA Natraj points out that every batch had a diverse bunch of students. "So many of them were from the backward communities and Shankar really helped them reach their potential," he recalls.

For Balaji, it was the way Shankar bounced out from failures that will remain inspiring.

"He turned his failures into a success story. He struggled a lot to get where he was and nothing could stop him. He never showed or told us about any problems. He was always smiling," he says.

Eight years ago, talking about his own failures, Shankar had said, "So many people who studied with me and studied under me, have become big officials now. When I see them, I feel pride and a tinge of jealousy. But if I had succeeded, I would have just become an IAS officer. It is because I failed that I am able to create so many IAS and IPS officers. It’s on the stairs of my failure, that so many climb to success."



Under Pressure Due to 'Low Attendance', IIT Madras Student Commits Suicide-News18


Shahul Kornath, from Malappuram in Kerala, was pursuing his B Tech-M Tech (dual degree) Naval architecture programme, police said.
PTIUpdated:September 22, 2018, 8:54 PM IST



Chennai: A final year student of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras allegedly committed suicide on Saturday by hanging from the ceiling of his room, police said.

Shahul Kornath (23), from Malappuram in Kerala, was pursuing his B Tech-M Tech (dual degree) Naval architecture programme, police and the institute administration said.

No suicide note was found from his room, police added.

However, they suspected that he could have been under "some kind of pressure due to low attendance", but added that a detailed probe was on.

Meanwhile, the institute mourned the student's death as an "irreparable loss".

"This is indeed an irreparable loss to not just the institute and the family, but society as a whole. May his soul rest in peace," it said in a statement, adding that it was cooperating with the authorities on the matter.

National Institute of Design finds a 'dost' for its students' mental, emotional well being - DNA


National Institute of Design finds a 'dost' for its students' mental, emotional well being


Depression Picture for representational purpose , Thinkstock

WRITTEN BY

Tanushree Bhatia Updated: Oct 11, 2018, 06:05 AM IST

After IIT-Madras, National Institute of Design, becomes the second educational institution to make provisions for its students to deal with stress and anxiety and open up to counsellors.

Four year old start up YourDost, is an emotional online platform that offers counselling services round the clock, while keeping their identity of the users anonymous.

The institute has bought the services of YourDost so that the students can avail it for free.

YourDost was founded by Richa Singh, a graduate of IIT-Guwahati, after one of her batch mates committed suicide due to academic pressure. She had realised then the need to have someone to speak to, which can even help save lives. The platform allows instant access to users to share their problems through an online interface. A team of over 75 experts cater to the needs of the users.

Pradyumna Vyas, Director, NID, said, "While in today's world, technology has made connections easier, loneliness on other hand has also increased. These days, students go through a lot of pressure, career issues, anxiety, burden of expectation, etc. The pressure eventually reaches a level where they need to share and open up, to feel light and be guided on the right track. Hence, we thought of tying up with a professional body to ensure their mental and emotional well being.

While we can appoint counsellors on campus, it becomes difficult to avail their services 24x7. That apart, anonymity helps, as we have seen several times that students are less enthusiastic about turning up in person." This platform will deal with both these issues.

"The facility can be availed by students, faculty and entire NID community across all campuses," added Vyas.

Commenting on the initiative, an ex-student of Strategic Media Design at NID, Gandhinagar, said, "The initiative will be beneficial to students who often grapple with academic pressure and financial troubles. However, I feel that sharing things with a counseller in person helps build trust and hence it becomes easier to pour ones heart out. So I am not very sure about how much a will be willing to student share on an online platform."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Where is the suicide prevention strategy? - Indian Express


Where is the suicide prevention strategy?


Death by suicide is a complex act driven by multiple factors.





Published: 01st October 2018 04:00 AM


Death by suicide is a complex act driven by multiple factors. Often, reporting on suicide tends to simplify these factors into one single event—exam failure, debt, job loss. Neither can such acts be looked at as purely a mental health issue. The reality is that a combination of issues, which may include mental illness, can trigger one towards the act. The response to this, therefore, must acknowledge complexities and look to prevent such deaths by adopting what experts have called a multi-sectoral approach.

Recently a youth in IIT-Madras allegedly died by suicide. The response from the institution highlighted the gaps in care in what is acknowledged to be a stressful environment. ‘Help is available, but he didn’t seek it,’ was pointed out. 

Also recently, an actress who attempted suicide was booked under Section 309 of the IPC, despite it having been virtually decriminalised by the new Mental Health Act which came into force in July.

This is evidence of the lack of understanding about mental health, distress and suicide. This also shows that merely passing a progressive law does not by itself ensure that society and its institutions fall in line overnight. The new law mandates that the country must frame a suicide prevention strategy. This strategy must tackle the issue from all angles—finding ways to ensure help reaches those who are not in a position to reach it, policy interventions, limiting access to pesticides, creating and supporting national helpline services, producing more professional counsellors and training peer counsellors.

Without these, more youngsters, entering a world fraught with stress, competitiveness and multiple inequalities, are at risk. Suicide is globally seen as a public health issue and deaths by suicide are preventable. Research has shown that even the smallest of changes has saved lives. It is essential that India takes this seriously and approaches the issue with a nuanced understanding, sensitivity and foresight. The first step, of course, would be to bring the suicide prevention strategy to life.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Promoting mental health in colleges - The Hindu

Promoting mental health in colleges

Promoting mental health in colleges
MORE-IN

Millennials love hanging out on the Internet, which is where this non-profit aims to start a conversation about mental health on college campuses. But the plan is also to take things offline

No parent sends a child to school or university expecting it to be the last time they see him or her. Yet, the Lok Sabha estimates that in 2016 alone, 9,474 students (a number which many believe is grossly underestimated) died in India due to ‘accidental deaths and suicides’, many of them triggered by poor performance in examinations.
This is not a problem exclusive to India. College campuses and other educational institutions across the world have invited criticism for not doing enough to address the mental health conditions that led to these suicides. Earlier this year in the US, a group of students filed a class action lawsuit against Stanford University for allegedly pressuring them to take a leave of absence when they reported suicidal feelings. The statistics are, however, even more alarming in India, where a 2010 study stated that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-to-26 year-olds, particularly women.
Exams, peer pressure, the stress of landing a career, and even the pressure to get married: it is no surprise that young adults are one of the most vulnerable age groups when it comes to mental illness. “Symptoms for a majority of mental health issues crop up in early childhood,” shares Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar, founder of SNEHA and co-author of a recently-published Lancet Report on suicide. “But since this age group is otherwise physically healthy, they don’t usually access health services.”
Some educators are beginning to address the urgency of the issue, recognising the importance of early action. USA’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that 50% of individuals afflicted by a mental health issue experience onset by age 14. Just this July, New York became the first American state to make mental health education in its schools mandatory.

Virtual solace

It is this vulnerability that led Bhairavi Prakash, an organisational psychologist and mental health advocate, to begin her passion project that addresses the mental well-being of young adults, specifically college students. The Mithra Trust, her initiative which combines online activism with community engagement, will launch on World Mental Health day on October 10.
The website, Prakash says, will consist of “information that you can engage with” — articles, illustrations and videos targeted at three categories of individuals: those seeking help, those looking to help someone else, and those who are interested in spreading awareness about mental health issues. The organisation will also provide subsidised online counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) by trained professionals exclusively for college students. Mithra seeks to bring community engagement and dialogue to the fold of mental health, using a platform that millenials live on: the Internet.
The long-term vision of the non-profit is to ignite a democratic, grassroots conversation about mental health on college campuses. This is the reason why Mithra is building an army of ‘digital ambassadors’ or representatives from Indian universities who will be provided with regular online training on peer counselling and awareness building. “We train them to interact with somebody who might need help,” she shares, adding that Mithra will also provide social media tools to help students build offline campus clubs, making it a first-of-its-kind in India, emulating peer-counselling models such as Jack.org (Canada) and Headspace Australia. “It is much easier to get the students talking first,” she says, explaining her decision to engage directly with the youth, and not university administrations. “Some universities don’t believe that this subset matters.”
Mithra will draw from Prakash’s experience working with educational institutions such as IIT-Madras to establish and improve campus counselling centres and student-run clubs that provide peer-to-peer counselling services.

Truth matters

In India, which faces an 87% shortage of mental health professionals, and where systemic shaming is heaped on those seeking psychiatric help, access to information is hard to come by. This includes information about the resources that are available, and Mithra’s web content will engage the services of psychologists, writers and designers to produce easily-digestible information on the topic of mental health. The non-profit currently has funding from two foundations. “Just to get the ball rolling, but that’s not enough,” says Prakash.
For more details, contact bhairavi@mithratrust.com