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Saturday, December 3, 2011

129 - IIT launches confession box to help students vent woes - TOI




CHENNAI: Confessions can help save lives. The idea has prompted Indian Institute of Technology - Madras to encourage students to share their experiences and feelings on an Online Confession Box to help them cope with stress caused by academic and parental pressures orbroken relationships. "It's not always easy to find a person you can trust to talk to at any time of the day. Sometimes you just have to hear yourself talking about the issue to somebody, just rant. At such times, an online confession box helps," said a second year student, who declined to be named.

Students can log on to the Online Confession Box on the social networking page of the General Counselling Unit (GCU) and speak out while remaining anonymous. They can also seek help from behavioural experts through the confession box. There have been three suicides at IIT-M this year, spurring the institution to launch mental health initiatives, including a 24-hour helpline manned by behavioural experts and the social networking page offering tips on how to handle stress and identify psychological disorders like a obsessive compulsive disorder.

The revamped GCU is to be named Mitr. "For several years, GCU was in fire-fighting mode, helping students in distress. Now, we are trying to take preventive measures," said GCU head Sivakumar Srinivasan.

Other IITs too have launched similar initiatives. IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi have student mentor programmes that identify senior students on whom freshers can bank on to guide and help them handle academic and co-curricular issues. It has been found that while 35% of students at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology and 45% in Harvard seek help for mental health issues, only 5% of students come to the GCU.

"This is because of the stigma attached to going to hospital for such issues. So we have come up with ideas for students to get help online through social networking sites, talks by alumni on topics, and addressing them as a group in the hostel to give tips on, say, 'How to study whenfriends keep dropping in'," Sivakumar said.

Alumni have also offered support in many ways. Raju Venkatraman of the 1981 batch, who started Medall Healthcare, has tied up with IIT-M to provide 24-hour assistance through tele-counselling with behavioural experts. "At one of our discussions in the Centre for Alumni Relations Enhancements, we asked for suggestions. One of the first to respond was Raju, who said he would help them handle behavioural issues," said advisor at IIT-M's office of alumni affairs R Nagarajan.

The GCU is also trying to get alumni who have gone through tough times to talk to students. "If an alumnus who was into substance abuse in college can talk about how it affected his life and how he overcame it, it will get students to kick the habit," said Sivakumar.

The manpower at GCU has been strengthened to include 15 faculty volunteers and five head student counsellors. They will co-ordinate with 100 students across departments and hostels. Medall Healthcare has given students and faculty the first level of training in counselling to identify those in need of help.

Monday, November 21, 2011

128 - 1986 batch to give IIT students a professional counselling service - Indian Express

mihikabasu

Posted: Mon Nov 21 2011, 02:49 hrs
Mumbai:

To address the academic and psychological problems faced by students of IIT Bombay, the focus of the institute’s 1986 batch will be to establish a dedicated “counselling services programme”. The initiative is part of the legacy project of the 1986 batch, titled “student quality of life improvement”. The former students are getting together next month for their silver jubilee reunion.


“With increase in student suicide rates, there is an immediate need to address academic, emotional and psychological attributing factors faced by the students. Accordingly, there is a need to establish and enhance a professional counselling service programme at IIT Bombay,” said Sandeep Pandya from the 1986 batch, who is also treasurer of the IIT Bombay Heritage Fund (IITBHF).

The programme, says a white paper on the project, will look at recruiting professional, high-quality medical/psychological counsellors and creating a collaborative programme to leverage expertise and assistance from top medical/psychological institutes in Mumbai. It will also focus on formalising and providing mentoring services through the alumni community to help with career counseling and industry mentoring.

The batch aims to raise Rs 2.25 crore for their legacy project, where 50 per cent of the contributions are expected to come alumni in India and the rest from those abroad. “The 1986 batch legacy is to strengthen existing and create new programmes related to students and is the first batch to adopt this approach,” says the white paper.

Part of the project will look at strengthening the existing “financial aid programme (FAP)” for needy students of IIT Bombay. “The FAP has been successful over the past five years since its founding. The programme has issued 870 loans to over 480 students, disbursing Rs 1.7 crore. There’s an immediate need to fund this project as intake of needy students is increasing. In addition, there is a government proposal on the table to potentially increase IIT tuition fees in the coming years, further posing financial challenge to students,” said Nilesh Vani from the 1986 batch.

Accordingly, the former students will continue to support the project and create a growing endowment. “We are very happy that the 1986 batch has decided to support the financial aid programme which had been initiated by the 1981 batch and aims to make IIT education financially available to everyone. This will help the programme grow into a huge, sustainable project in years to come,” said Bakul Desai, member of the board of directors, IIT Bombay Alumni Association (IITBAA).


Saturday, October 22, 2011

127 - Reservation in IITs will require Suicide watch by Rambo

Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2008 17:34:52 +1000
Conversation: Reservation in IITs will require Suicide watch


I believe that many IITians especially those who come from the cities and who have attended private schools in cities etc may not be in a position to comprehend the kind of torture it will be for a student from a country town, (even if he is a forward caste) to come to IIT where most students are behaving like white men from a different planet. It will scare the shit out of a village kid and whose first thoughts would be to cut loose and run back to his environment.. Can we catch a monkey from the trees of a jungle and expect the monkey to perform in a circus without training.

Imagine you are from a village and badly dressed and wearing chappals when every one around you is carrying a lap top and iPod and wearing expensive Nike shoes...Will this impact a village student even if he is from the forward caste... Like mad..

Now imagine this same kid is from the Sc/St class and does not even live in the main village and lives on the periphery in a hut and the father is a day labourer...
Imagine this student sitting in CLT with 200 other students listening to a lecturer teaching maths or physics expecting every student (because he is clever enough to get admission to IIT) to follow all that is being taught.. ( Most often these maths and physics lecturers are PG's who have little teaching skills adding to the woes of such a student)
Remember this village student does not understand a word of English and every day every subject is being taught in English at a lightening pace. Do faculty care about students who are struggling to keep pace. No Sir not at IITs..

Hey I went to an English medium school and attended Loyola College. I had no problem with English, physics or chemistry the way they were taught. But Maths was a nightmare for me.. I was learning calculus for the first time as we did not have calculus in PUC in our time.. The nerds had taught themselves before classes had commenced. Me the Mr cool assumed at IIT they will teach you everything from scratch and I was WRONG. In the first year my maths teacher was good Mr Koteeswar Rao but he had no time for the minority who had not done calculus at school. Man I never understood what dy/dt was. We then had a Prof Srinivasan who faced the black board for all two or three hours and scribbled on the black board the whole time. Did I learn Integral calculus ? No Sir.

At the end of the first year I told my dad it was a mistake to join IIT and I should have gone to Guindy college.. His answer was I told you so. Then I had my friend DLN Sastry who was brilliant but had never learnt English. He struggled the first three years and still topped the Aero Branch in the 5 year B Tech course.

Today thanks to coaching classes maths physics and chemistry are a breeze.. Students find the first two years so easy to score marks that they all get well over 90% and then when their real branch courses start they just float along and get marks in the 70% range and still end up with very high averages overalll to get a first class.. I have spoken to fresh graduates who say that they relax in the last two ears and teach themselves computer programming so thy can apply for jobs in IT....

If SC/ST/OBC students are to succeed in IITs and compete on equal grounds, HRD must pick these students and send them to coaching schools as opposed to the extra one year at IITs where faculty do not do real justice....to these disadvantaged students..

I know some one like Suresh will refute this charge but he is a faculty member and will not understand the subjective issues faced by reservation students.
       Rambo
       --------------------------

    On 2/7/08 3:37 PM, "Ramanan R"  wrote:

So that is it.

The routine at IIT, as Rambo routinely puts it, is intimidating for somebody who suddenly gets transplanted from a culture where there a celebration when the student just "passes" the exam. They need help to transit to this new culture which outwardly looks without a "human touch". But no institution of excellence can behave benign.  It was not easy for small towners like me when I came from a small town called Hyderabad 30 years ago. To add, I used to be called half golti.

If you do not prepare students, it is torture for them.

That is why I protested that 290 Govt. schools were being closed right here in Hyderabad. Can you imagine what would be the state in the countryside. And all these kids want to go to any engg college where transparency would less than 50% of what you get at IITs. That is why I say the supporters of reservation are not fighting for the depressed, but for get more freebies for themselves. Else creamy layer would have pushed very hard by Karunanidhi, Lalu Prasad, Mulayam et al.

regards
ramanan (late)
------------------------------
From: "Prof. P. Sriram"  Reservation in IITs will require Suicide watch

On Wed, 2 Jul 2008, Ram Krishnaswamy wrote:
[lots of accurate things, but also]

(Today thanks to coaching classes maths physics and chemistry are a  breeze.. Students find the first two years so easy to score marks that  they all get well over 90% and then when their real branch courses  start they just float along and get marks in the 70% range)
we have just compiled the statistics for the last 7 years or so; in the last 3 years, there has been a dramatic dip in the scores of students in maths, physics and chemistry, very notably in maths. they dont get 90% and breeze through. last year, for example, in maths 1, about 200 (out of 500)
students failed and were given a re-exam, even after which some 75 or so failed. the grades in departmental subjects are actually better.

( If SC/ST/OBC students are to succeed in IITs and compete on equal grounds, HRD must pick these students and send them to coaching schools as opposed to the extra one year at IITs where faculty do not do real justice....to these disadvantaged students.. I know some one  like Suresh will refute this charge but he is a faculty member and  will not understand the subjective issues faced by reservation students.)
actually, this may be a better idea than the present system of iits running the preparatory course. i even suspect suresh may be in favour of this, especially if it means we will shut down the preparatory course.

sriram

------------------
From: Bhamy Shenoy
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2008 15:36:23 +0000
Subject: Reservation in IITs will require Suicide watch

Ram,

I completely agree with you regarding the problem students from villages and small towns face. In fact what you have described explains in every small details what I faced when I landed in IIT.

Today if any student from a village by chance gets into IIT B.Tech course will face the problems you describe. But I venture to say that any slum student from a city or even from a rich family from village getting admission to IIT is very slim. They just do not have access to good schooling.  This is also connected with caste problems.

It is a pity that we tend to concentrate only on reservation (I agree that it is a significant problem) and ignore more burning problems of all children not having access to primary and secondary schooling.

Regards
Bhamy 

--------------------   

Friday, October 21, 2011

126 - 2007 - 'My list didn't lead to IIT suicide'

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 23:40:08 -0700 (PDT)
 
Is public humiliation needed to put a student back on track?


Also, the IIT campuses need better counseling services.
Indira

------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 19:23:03 +1000
Conversation: 'My list didn't lead to IIT suicide'


In a recent article, an IIM Professor had concluded that, for “one really good and committed faculty member in IITs an IIMs we had atleast three hanging on to a job”. While IITs filter 5000 students out of 300000 aspirants through the JEE each year, what about the quality of faculty members ? People get into the system as Asst Lecturers and stay in the system and become the system for life, whether they perform in their jobs or not. Most do their PhDs and become academics from day one with nil field experience and we cannot blame the students for  not beig inspired by such faculty. Some claim there is some form of appraisal system in some of the IITs, which makes me wonder. Faculty need a system where there is a 360 degree feed back that will determine if they should continue as faculty or not. Apppraisal of faculty members should come from the very students they teach and not their coolleagues. Will these very faculty members  who threaten students with a “F” grade face up to such scrutiny the the very students

I did my civil engineering too at IITM, way back in the sixties. I can remember three faculty members who were extraordinary teachers and no one even missed their classes. In fact there was a rush to get there early to sit in front row. The rest were not teachers at all just public servants.

In my fourth year, I was threatened by a faculty member in soil mechanics at IITM. He ridiculed me in public in soil mechanics class for not knowing “the simple diifference between density and specific gravity” and gave me a
zero for my lab work. I challenged him to explain the difference himself. He fumbled and failed and the entire class laughed at him and the next thing I knew, he said “Get out of my class. I will make sure you repeat the fourth year”. Now that was a threat I was not going to take lying down. I was not going to allow him to fail me and then commit suicide was I ?

The rest is history as the entire class made me pen a statement of the event as it took place and every one signed as witnesses. I was asked by HOD Prof Sankaran, who was also a Hostel warden to his house for tea the following day. He promised me that he would take necessary action on the concerned staff member and told me that I should go and study for my final exams and that no body was going to fail me, as the HOD himself was going to correct the final exam papers. I got an A in my final exam.

The next week the concerned staff member was made to come and apologise to the entire class but not for just the episode with me. The man even cried asking for forgiveness. A few of us proved to the HOD that he had tampered with our grades for the whole year. I was the one who realised that having got an “S” grade for every lab report my mid term report showed a “B” grade as the average, which we assumed as a mistake made by the academic section staff. We took the matter to our favourite faculty member who investigated
and established that this had been done not just to me but 14 of my classmates. If this could happpen in 1969 the situation is probably much worse now considering IITs have become such pressure cookers with faculty being menaces, leading to so many suicides at IITs.

Perhaps the faculty member who teaches a subject should not be allowed to mark exam papers. Education should be fun.

I can understand why Civil engg students at IITs cannot be bothered about civil engg, because they know in their hearts the minute they walk out of the IIT Campus with a B Tech degree they will be switching to finance or software industry. It was never my intention to practice as a Civil engg that I did not choose but was give to me based on my JEE entrance rank. I switched to Acoustics & Industrial Noise control as I loved physics and Acoustics as was taught by Prof Koteeswar Rao of the maths dept.

I also believe that Faculty in IITs should get a transfer every three years to another IIT so that they do not get bored teaching the same stuff year after year in the same class rooms on the same campus. Imagine a life where a faculty member spends 30 years on one campus teaching and living in one house.

Should IIT Alumni not seek a special commission to look into these suicides at IITs or is life so cheap that we carry on regardless ? If my count is correct the Umang Group of IIT alumni has recorded as many as seven suicides in a short span of two years. I do not believe any student who makes iit through JEE does not have the brains to pass the B tech. The reasons lie elsewhere

Rambo

-------------------------------------------

Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 15:40:38 +0530
Subject: 'My list didn't lead to IIT suicide'

A prof who sends a list of students who are likely to get an 'F' to the whole class is an idiot. He is an idiot who does not recognise that each of these kids will be formidable competiton if he he/she are faced with the unfortunate situation of competing one on one against any of them.

A former director of IITM, once on visit to my house told my father, less than 25% of the faculty would get through JEE and less than 50% would get through GATE.

On the other side is the pressure that parents bring on their young impressionable kids. The parents build up some vague "egos" and "status in the society" issues around the grades kids get. They should be ashamed of not standing by their kids when the kids can do with help. Who else is supposed to relieve stress and give support if not the parents?. B.Tech from IIT is no B.Com from the college in the next street.

We used to say - it is more difficult to get a second class than getting past JEE in our days in IITM, when we had absolute grading.
 

Most of us came from not very rich families and valued the education.

Yet, bad teaching is a realty - in IIT and everywhere. It is not easy to inspire a class of guys who are so bright - unless the faculty is passionate about his subject and has good communication skills. I still must have a copy of a report we produced as students in 1976 to explain what is great teaching according to the students. Of course I ran into trouble with my HOD then.

Such a waste. Terrible waste.
Ramanan ( LATE) , B.Tech 76

---------------------------------------
Subject:  'My list didn't lead to IIT suicide'

Dear Ramanan and Rambo (and others),

It was real nice reading your heartfelt comments on the IITK suicide. Like most people, I also would not wish to see suicides in any campus or for that matter in any place/situation.

One common thread in most discussions in this forum on any topic concerning IIT's is that everbody's model of what IIT(M) is the natural one -- the one that existed during their time at IIT(M). However, I must point out that IIT's are not static by any stretch of imagination. The student body changes, the curriculum changes, the rules of the game changes and so on. This was one of the things that hit me when I returned to this campus almost a decade after graduation as a faculty member.

The point I wish to make is that your vision about what IIT is about may have very little to do with the ground reality.

At this point, it is tempting to attempt to nitpick at your various comments. Instead of this, I wish to finish this email with just one comment: In my experience, it is much harder to fail a course at IITM than to get the highest grade (of course, the grading system has changed since your time as well as mine). I can't comment about IITK.

I do not find the time the participate in several of the debates that take place in this group but I nevertheless do try to follow them. Keep it up folks.

Suresh Govindarajan
Class of 1986 & and a non-German IITM faculty member:-)

-------------------------------
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 23:02:30 +1000
Conversation:  'My list didn't lead to IIT suicide'

Suresh
 

One would have expected IITs to change for the better. We should have built on what we already had and not screw them up.

A five  year course suddenly became a four year course. Wonder which politician made that decision.

Then we had changes allowing JEE to be taken in several languages.


This alone could be the reason why so many suicides are taking place especially up north. Imagine students who never studied English sitting in classes taught in English.

How Pathetic is a system that gives admission to SC and ST students and makes them all study one extra year and making them untouchable on campus in an indirect sort of way. 


Upnorth there is a specific name for these poor students from Sc and ST quotas to be treated inferior in class by the merit students. These students have pride too and have feelings too do they not ?

Suresh 30% of the Faculty in IITs are of good standard the rest are a waste of time. With reservations I believe even the good faculty wll quit in disgust .

In conclusion the ground reality is that IITs are screwed up and dancing to the tunes of bureaucrats in HRD ministy made up of fellows who could not make it into IITs and IIMs and like to destroy them. Well these are the foolS guiding the HRD minister, who is so old that he may not remember what he had for breakfast leave alone rememBer the difference between IIT and IIM

Any way it was nice to hear from you after such a long long time . Where have you been hiding mate?
 

Rambo
--------------- 
Conversation: My list didn't lead to IIT suicide'

I do not see why we need to ape other university systems, we should create our own model. All Central Govt servants are in transferrable jobs. Why should faculty at IITs not be transferred to other IITs instead of stagnating and letting down roots in their offices ?

I cannot believe that faculty members get rotated. Imagine a Structures professor teaching hydraulics or soil mechanics. I can now see how the system has been eroded where any faculty can teach any subject. Tell me in which university you see this process?

Education is not about cramming some class notes and regurgitating as happens in IITs. The entire focus of faculty is on Grades and not making education interesting and fun and imparting knowledge.

Ofcourse in the fisrt 15 years IITs got students who had the aptitude and wanted to do engineering studies. Today IITs have become a national obsession and seen as a passport to success.

No education system should drive any student to suicide. I do read of many teen suicides in Australia yet the cause has never been one of not being able to cope with studies.

I envy the system in Uniiversity of Technology where my son breezed through a double degree in Business and Law.

Every lecture was conducted twice a day. One in the morning and one at night and students could attend either. No attendance taken and faculty hardly knew the students as even students who majored in other subjects like humanities could choose subjects as long as they met the pre requisites.

Assignments were quite often multiple choice questions done via the uniiversity web site on the internet and essays were also submitted as attachments by emails.

The question is what can alumni do to counsel such students who are driven to extremes ?. I do not believe  this can be an internal process as students willl not come forward with their problems.

Can some one explain why any faculty member has to circulate a list of students who might get an 'F' Grade .



Sorry who ever this Gupta at IITK is is a MORON and should not be teaching

Students get burnt and students also get scarred for life by mindless bodies posing as faculty members. A teacher needs compassion and patience and should know that every student is different.

But then faculty at IITs are not trained in education are they. Any one with a PhD can apply and become a faculty member.

One can be extremely smart academically but that does not mean they can teach. Only a small percentage of people know what teaching is all about.

Even to this day I remember wiith Joy the English classes conducted by Prof Krishnamurthy. He was a teacher for sure.




Rambo
---------------------------
Here is a note from a recent Graduate from IIITK
Name with held by request
..........................................
Eye opening article.

As I recollect my IIT K days, there used to be competition among some profs to give "F" grades. Many Profs were sadists, who themselves could not achieve anything in life. Sometimes I feel I can be a better teacher with 14 years of Industry exp than these fresh PHDS , but system doesn't allow B.Techs to be Prof.

Students also feel (By the way I also felt that way) - "IIT is the only thing in the world, if I don't pass , Sun will stop shining". They also need to be told that Aircraft was invented by Cycle Mechanics.

Best Regards

---------------------------------------

Subject: 'My list didn't lead to IIT suicide'


The number of SC/ST students who spend N (>4) years has definitely come down since the preparatory course was started. The reason is simple -- this course bridges the gap and prepares them to complete the B.Tech. programme in the stipulated 4 years (it is five if you include the one-year preparatory course). During the duration of the course, the students are provided boarding and lodging. When I taught the course, I found that about 80% of the students are sincere and work hard and do benefit from the one-year stint. As far as I can see, there is no stigma attached to this course and it is taught by regular IITM faculty. I doubt it if Vivekananda or Loyola college would be interested in teaching these students. I also believe that IIT faculty are better qualified to introduce them to the IIT system. 

Dear Rambo, your model will lead to students taking a huge number of years to complete their degree, if they get one at all.


Suresh, IITM
-------------------------------

Suresh, Here is a challenge.

Get a ST/SC Quota student to share his views on his experience at IITM as a quota student

The poor Quota student was not that stupid not to know there was a mess functioning during holidays. His scholarship would not pay for the mess bill during summer vacation and he was penniless. (This is from Up North and not IITM )

How would you know if there is stigma attached or not if you are not one of them ?

One student wrote that IIT is a terrible place as your own classmates look at you and treat you differently and you feel so insulted and left out. I can understand some arrogant fellows who got in through merit treating quota students badly. These are things you will never get to know as a faculty member ever.

How about enlightening some of us. Please explain how Sc and ST students get selected to do B Tech Degree What is the Process ? What do you teach these students in the extra year precisely ?


Rambo

------------------------
Subject:  'My list didn't lead to IIT suicide'


I have an anecdote from my friend who was former director of CFTRI (Dr. H. A. B. Parpia) in Mysore. He would even go one record. His son was a student in IIT Kanpur. His roommate was an SC who got admission into IIT thanks to quota. It seems he used to get up late, was never regular in attending classes and did not study all that hard. When my friend’s son suggested that he should change his studying habits and should not waste his time or lose years failing. He was told that he is having a nice time in the college and he does not mind losing few years. After all he said he was getting full scholarship and did not have to worry about money.  He also told his friend that he would not doubt clear his studies and would go to work. In his case he may take more years, but soon after taking job in some government department he would be promoted fast and despite poor grades he would still become his boss because of reservation. Therefore he does not have to work hard at all.

Well if this was narrated by some one other than Dr. Parpia, I would have not believed it. Dr. Parpia is spending all his time even at the ripe old age of 84 helping the slum children. I know he does not have any prejudice either.

I do not want to create an impression that all quota students are like the one described above. But this does show how the system can spoil even the best of us when there is non merit considerations are adopted to select people for jobs or for promotion.

Bhamy Shenoy
__._,_.___

Bhamy, I believe every word. 


When you give some one something he does not deserve and has not earned, could you expect anything different ?.

The Australian govt is desperately trying to make amends with the aboriginies by handing out Billions of dollars every year purely out of guilt.
 

What do the aboriginies do ? Spend all the money they get each week in the pub drinking and live in slums and shanty towns. One wold assume that they will use the money for education and assets but they do not want the western way of life they claim. Why because they are hand outs that they do not deserve. Politicians don’t care either as all they want is to be seen to be politically correct as is happening now with HRD pushing for 49% reservation.

What a sad state of affairs in an India that is expected to become a Super Power.

If the IT sector escaped the clutches of Politicians of the Licence Raj to enrich the nation there has to be a way out for Higher education too.
 

What if the 49% of merit students who are denied admission that belongs to them get picked up by the private sector and sent abroad for education expenses paid with a contract to work for the sponsor for a minimum of five years ?  This is just a what If ? 

It is possible for a country like Australia very short on population and has an aging population may even welcome the cream of India with the promise of a citizen ship. 

No one in their right mind will say no to such an offer

Rambo
----------------- 
Not all faculty members at Sydney University were PHD's

Tall Building structures was taught by the Chief Engineer of a leading Construction company Civil and Civic. It was the most popular course as theman was incharge of a 45 story Qantas Building & Regent Hotel in the city.

Hey I abandoned my PhD because I was head hunted with an offer that I could not refuse. Had I completed my PhD I would be eligible to become a faculty at IITM but trust me I would have been hopeless. Not every one is good at teaching and that is the point I am trying to make. Also PhDs are limited to a specific topic  that has been chosen and does not make a PhD a true all round teacher of many subjects.

IITs would be much better off if there were 50% visiting Professors with field experience in the industry


Rambo
------------------
Dear Rambo,

The one suicide that occurred during my IIT years (75-79) in my hostel was that of a Brahmin boy from Bangalore.  I am guessing there was some pressure to perform better, or fear of failure in tough competition.  Of course his parents and sisters were devastated by the loss of their precious only son/brother, from what my wife who knew the family told me later.  


Suicides by the way are not unheard of (a few occur almost every year) in highly competitive places like MIT in the US. IIMs on the other hand are relatively stress-free and not so rigorous as in hard engineering or science course from what some of my IITian classmates who had gone to IIMs told me. So I am not surprised that there is less (if any) occurrence of suicides in those institutions.

There were so few  reserved quota students (only about six in my hostel) during those years.  They were generally cohesive (amongst themselves, like all other student groups), yet I found them friendly and sociable over the years.  I suspect they had endured so much before they even entered IIT that they had already developed much thicker skin than you or me.  


Nevertheless, I predict that they will not be willing to share their true feelings on this forum or even with you or me in private until there is some gradual build up of trust / faith. 

They have been slighted or disparaged so much in this forum that if any of them ever became a member of this group, they would have left long ago or will keep quiet for a long time to come until the tone of discourse here turns around drastically to express more broadly felt and genuine appreciation for their travails.  (Looking at the number of our outspoken contributors who are yet to sign the apology on the url provided again recently by Daljit Singh gives some indication that it is not going to happen any time soon.)

BTW, I did recall immediately the organized beggars scenes from Pokiri when I read your other mail.  I laughed my head off when watching this movie a month or two ago.  Unlike that imaginary organization with a single focus, our IITM alumni are such a diverse group, in age, in location, in branch, in language, in caste, and in so many qualitites except for intelligence, that it is almost impossible for us to agree on any single goal political or otherwise.  However, all of us of course care about our alma mater and would like to reminisce and may be debate endlessly about their own ideas.

Regards,
Dhinakar
  Kompala
--------------------------
 On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 10:46 AM, Prof. P. Sriram  wrote:

ok, this is the factual current position at iitm (iitd will be similar).  the b tech program is rated for 4 years/8 semesters and 165 credits - so the mean rate should be about 21 credits per semester. in order to stay in
the program, students are required to maintain a minimum rate of 14 credits per semester (this is more liberal than dropping two subjects).  extra allowance is made for the first year of the program and the credit
earning rate is reckoned only from 3rd semester onward. summer terms are not counted as semesters but one can do upto two courses (6-8 credits), so students can do courses during summer to push up the credit earning rate. note that at the minimum required rate of 14 credits per semester, the 4 year program will be stretched to 6 years.  the first time the rate drops below the minimum, the student is issued a warning and put on probation (and the parents are notified) - but the student is allowed to register. the second time this happens, the student is formally struck off the rolls and not allowed to register. however, the student can appeal this decision (and submit a plan of study that will raise the credit earning rate back to the minimum required) and the student will be routinely reinstated and the senate informed of this decision. the third time the student fails to maintain the rate, the student is once again struck off the rolls and not allowed to register. this time, however, any appeal is directed to the senate (or to diro, as chairman of senate) for a case by case decision. if there are extenuating circumstances (like death of a parent, a dibilitating health condition etc), the student is allowed to continue by treating one or more semesters as non-existant; if the student is plain weak and is having a chronic problem of maintaining the required credit rate, the appeal is turned down and the student is expelled from the program. this usually happens only when the student is projected to take more than 8 or 9 years to complete the program (though we have given degrees after 9 years also). iitd procedure is similar, though it appears that parental notification is delayed in comparison to iitm. also, at iitm, students who are halfway between the required rate (for 4 year graduation) and the minimum rate (14 credits per semester) are sent a warning letter reminding them of the minimum rate required and how close they are to it - so the 'striking off the rolls' is rarely a bolt from the blue. it really takes a lot to flunk out of the program like this and the fact that we are asking students to throw away some years of thier life weighs on us. we would wish not, but about 10% of students end up on probation.
     Sriram
     ----------------------------


125 - ‘Failure in paper drove IIT-K student to suicide’ - Indian Express

Posted: Sat Sep 24 2011, 02:46 hrs
Lucknow:



Depressed at having failed in a paper in his first semester exams drove IIT-Kanpur student Mahtab Ahmed to suicide, police and his father Sheikh Ahmed said on Friday.
 

A BTech first-year student of material science and engineering, Mahtab was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room on Thursday evening. He left no suicide note but had scribbled a message on the wall which read, “Dear friends, I’m tired of IIT.’’
 

Mahtab’s father Sheikh Ahmed, a police sub-inspector who is in-charge of Makrandpur outpost of City Kotwali police station of Kannauj district, said that Mahtab committed suicide after failing in a paper.
 

Nobody else was responsible for his suicide; he lost courage and ended his life, said Sheikh Ahmed.
 

Kanpur SP (Rural) Arun Kumar Pandey said that no further investigation was required, as the boy had committed suicide.

However, strangely IIT-K Registrar Sanjeev S Kashalkar said they were still not aware of the reason for Mahtab’s suicide.
 

Sheikh Ahmed said Mahtab had called up his mother around noon on Thursday and told her about his poor performance in one of the papers.
 

He said that Mahtab also told his mother that he was feeling depressed for not doing well in the first semester and that he was unable to face his teachers and friends at IIT.
 

Shiekh Ahmed said Mahtab’s mother tried to calm him and told him not to lose heart and prepare for better results next time. She also asked him to call her again in the evening.


Mahtab replied that he would call her after his practical exam in the afternoon, said Ahmed. However, Mahtab did not go for the practical exam and committed suicide.
 

Ahmed said that Mahtab, who was the youngest of his three sons, was brilliant in studies and had done well so far. He had got admission in IIT about four months ago, and had never told them about any problem there.
 

Kashalkar said that the IIT-K faculty encouraged the students to share their problems, but Mahtab did not discuss anything with his teachers or friends.

124 - Muslim IIT student commited suicide

By RIZWAN KHATIK - Fri Sep 23, 6:54 am


IIT-Kanpur: A first year BTech student of IIT-Kanpur on Thursday allegedly committed suicide in his hostel room, the ninth such case in five years, police said. He left a note addressed to three of his classmates saying he was tired of IIT.

19-year-old Mehtab Ahmed, a resident of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, hanged himself in his hostel room, they said.
 

The reason as to why he took the extreme step was not immediately known.
 

The incident came to light when his friends found him hanging in his room and reported the matter to the authorities following which the warden rushed to the hostel and found him dead.
 

“Ahmed was a student of Material Science and Engineering and was living in Room No 307,” IIT-K director Sanjay Dhande said.
 

The IIT-K authorities immediately constituted a four-member committee to probe the matter and reported the incident to Kalyapur police station. The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week, he said.
 

Dhande said Ahmed had taken admission in IIT-K just two months back.
 

Asked if he was driven to suicide because of ragging, he said the matter was being looked into, but, prima facie it did not appear to be so.
 

Meanwhile, IIT-K Registrar Sanjeev Kashalkar said the boy’s family members have been informed.
 

The news of his suicide created flutter inside the campus as this was the ninth such case during the last five years.
 

Reply to an RTI query showed that from 2005 to 2010, two girl students and six boys of IIT-K have committed suicide.
Five students committed suicide in their hostel rooms, one jumped from the roof of a building in the campus and another jumped in front of a moving train. Yet another had consumed poison.

123 - IIT-K forms committee to probe suicide

TNN Sep 23, 2011, 11.04pm IST


KANPUR: Authorities of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) have constituted a committee to investigate the suicidal death of Mehtab Ahmed, the first year BTech student of material sciences and engineering. Mehtab ended his life on Thursday by hanging himself from the ceiling fan at his hostel room. He was staying in room number D-307 of Hall IX in a single accommodation room.

Talking to mediapersons, registrar, IIT-Kanpur, Sanjeev S Kashalkar said the committee had been formed to find out the exact cause of Mehtab's suicidal death. He said Prof Omkar Dixit of civil engineering department, Prof AR Harish, head counselling service, Prof MK Ghorai of chemistry department, assistant registrar VP Singh and students' representative Abhinav Prateek were in the fact-finding committee. The panel would submit its report in 10 days.

122 - IIT Kanpur student commits suicide Sakaal Times

Thursday, September 22, 2011 AT 08:29 PM (IST)
Tags: IIT student suicides,   IIT Kanpur
 

KANPUR: A first year BTech student of IIT-Kanpur today allegedly committed suicide in his hostel room, the ninth such case in five years, police said.

19-year-old Mehtab Ahmed, a resident of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, hanged himself in his hostel room, they said. The reason as to why he took the extreme step was not immediately known.

The incident came to light when his friends found him hanging in his room and reported the matter to the authorities following which the warden rushed to the hostel and found him dead. "Ahmed was a student of Material Science and Engineering and was living in Room No 307," IIT-K Director Sanjay Dhande said.

The IIT-K authorities immediately constituted a four-member committee to probe the matter and reported the incident to Kalyapur police station. The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week, he said. Dhande said Ahmed had taken admission in IIT-K just two months back. Asked if he was driven to suicide because of ragging, he said the matter was being looked into, but, prima facie it did not appear to be so. Meanwhile, IIT-K Registrar Sanjeev Kashalkar said the boy's family members have been informed. The news of his suicide created flutter inside the campus as this was the ninth such case during the last five years.

Reply to an RTI query showed that from 2005 to 2010, two girl students and six boys of IIT-K have committed suicide. Five students committed suicide in their hostel rooms, one jumped from the roof of a building in the campus and another jumped in front of a moving train. Yet another had consumed poison.

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Comments
On 23/09/2011 01:55 AM Indramani Dhada said:


We shouldn't blame the Institute for this type of suicide, rather we should make our child Morally,Ethically and Mentally strong so that they can overcome all type of stresses.Every where if there is success on the contrary there is failure also.In other words every success have so many failures with in it.So,Suicide is not the extreme step.We shouldn't quit from the situation rather facing it with patience and strength.

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First year IIT-Kanpur student hangs self - TOI
TNN Sep 23, 2011, 08.10am IST

(A BTech (first year) student of material and metallurgical engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) committed suicide on Thursday.)


KANPUR: A BTech (first year) student of material and metallurgical engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) committed suicide on Thursday.

Mehtab Ahmed (17), who hailed from Kannauj district, was found hanging in his room No D-307 of hall No IX on the campus on Thursday evening.

After hearing the news, IIT-K director Sanjay Govind Dhande, other officials and students rushed to the Mehtab's room where he used to live alone.


121 - IIT boy found hanging in hostel - TOI

TNN Oct 19, 2011, 02.03AM IST


KHARAGPUR: Sunil Kujur, a fourth year student of IIT Kharagpur, was found hanging in his hostel room on Tuesday evening. He was a brilliant student and had no problem with studies but was depressed for some reason, say his friends.

This is the second suicide at IIT-Kgp in three months. In July, a final year student of the metallurgy department had killed himself.

-----------------------------

another suicide at IIT , Kharagpur student found hanging in hostel


In a sad news,  Sunil Kujur, a fourth year student of IIT Kharagpur, was found hanging in his hostel room on Tuesday evening,though this incident does not point to study pressure , apparently Sunil was a bright student and had no problem with his studies.

“Kujur had stopped interacting with his friends and hostel mates for the past month. He had become a recluse and even refused to take food at times,..,He had an excellent academic record. There is no possibility of stress due to studies. We initially thought Kujur was remaining aloof due to the semester examination,” said an IIT-Kgp official, as quoted on ToI.

Earlier IIT council has decided on constituting a task force to prevent student suicides at IIT’s.
---------------------------


A Campus in Sorrow
Thu, Oct 20, 2011
With the deepest regret we inform of a suicide in HJB Hall. Sunil Kujur, a fourth year student from the Department of Mining Engineering allegedly hanged himself in his room. According to his friends, this was totally unexpected and no clear reason has been ascertained for this act. His friends had to break down his door after he didn’t respond to knocks for a prolonged period of time.
The counselling centre has been making every effort to identify students who are prone to loneliness and depression, with a network of representatives in each hall. Here’s hoping we can prevent such disasters in the future.

120 - IIT student commits suicide

vks (patna)
05 Sep, 2011 02:49 AM
The title IIT student commits suicide attracts me due to my own story I am remembering my first semester last month , I tried 3-4 times for suicide but I was lucky my attempts were not successful. Then one morning I decided to leave the IIT and ran off from campus without any information. After a big drama I returned back to my house and said to my parents I am not going back. my parents supported me they were thinking that at least their son was with them. And next year again I filled the form and take admission in other IIT . I just want to explain the situation that drifts the student towards suicide. Neither parents nor the IIT system is responsible for these type of suicide. Actually its the psychology of student, when they are in school they are in toppers list, but in IIT all student are toppers of their school so here maintaining a level is tougher than earlier. And in this race some students make a circle around them and not opened up , that lead to slow depression and after few month the student become suicidal. As I said it takes 2-3 months to 2-3 yrs time so it can be easily detected and treated by parents, friends and by faculty. NO any doctor is needed for these type of cases. Family, friend and faculty support is enough. So my request is don’t ignore anything happening with your friend or any person around you.
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Anjali (Jamaica )
02 Sep, 2011 10:17 PM
Very very sad indeed!!! I totally blame the parents here for unnecessary pressurizing their child into taking such a drastic step. I think all the parents should learn the lesson from this incident and keep in mind this could happen to their own kin as well.....
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Ravi Shankar (Patna, India)
02 Sep, 2011 07:34 PM
Now it's proved that this society is not going to let the students live normally. Even IITians commit suicide;SO,dear society,what do do you want us to be GOD or something.Enough is enough.Saari Umr ham mar mar ke ji lia,kuch pal hame jine do jine do.
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4thaugust1932 (Tokyo)
02 Sep, 2011 01:32 PM
Indian education system is creating skilled wage slaves instead of entrepreneurs viz employers.
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vkguptan (Bangalore)
02 Sep, 2011 12:10 PM
Those who go for Medicine, Engineering and such professional courses should have aptitude for the subject. Also capacity learn. Everyone is not endowed with it. It is just luck. Intelligence is God's gift. Earlier there were only four IITs. To begin with I think there was only IIT-Kharagpur was there and later others came with foreign help- England, Russia and US. All together there were less than 1000 seats and the best went for the IITs. Others went to other engineering colleges. Now with the increase in number of IITs, students with less capability are able to get admission. They find the course tough and these kinds of depression and mental stress comes. Every parents have their dreams. Many who could not achieve much in their lives want their offspring to do better. It is human nature and cannot be helped. Everyone will put their aim high but all cannot succeed. I sympathize with the parents of the girl who committed suicide. My father dreamed that one day I will be well placed and will own a car. He made a gate to our compound in the village to bring the car inside. I could not fulfill his dream. I could never buy a car. So that is life.
------------------------

Ramesh (bangalore)
02 Sep, 2011 10:08 AM
is it is a suicide? or the corruption of patna that took her away of her life..........i would like to know.
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karun (Chennai)
02 Sep, 2011 09:55 AM
some parents are never satisfied with their children. If your children are in IIT it doesn't mean they are going to be the president of some country and they need to be in pressure to make the betterment of a billion people. For heaven sake parents they might just earn a few $ less then the brilliant guys. So please come out of your narrow mind set of greediness and encourage your kid to what he can really achieve.

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Arvind (Pune)
02 Sep, 2011 09:54 AM
The human touch is required in all professional institutes and council ling should be improved further.Life is the most precious one and maximum possible effort should be put after that be happy with the result. Mostly parents do not know the complications hence they do mistake. Also rivalry among students should be effectively controlled. Qualities of these sort required for the entire life.
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Sonia (Chennai)
02 Sep, 2011 09:48 AM
Its very unfortunate that student commit suicide for GRADES.. In life unless one learn to face the failure, one wont have value of success.I request, all the parents not to pressurize their child and all students not to go behind the grade, just focus on studies and do ur job.. Life is very important, its not for u alone but ur family too...

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A Comment:--

I am a student of IIT Delhi. I can say that the institute is fully
responsible for such acts by students. The pressure is so much, and so
'undue' that it curbs creativity, curbs freedom, encourages rot
learning and then everything is decided on the grade you have.
Definitely not an ideal place to spend the previous 4/5 years of your
life. The professors exert undue pressure and sometimes seem to be
motivated by a sense of vengeance(in that they themselves clear JEE).
This coupled with the fact that professors are 'kings' in IIT's, leads
many students to a hopeless despair and depression. I won't be
surprised if more students commit suicide in near future.

119 - Why are the IITs suicide prone? -

Every student who committed suicide at such renowned institutes as the IITs dealt with severe pressures of various kinds, which are interlinked. Not getting a proper recruitment, examination stress, depression are some of the major factors.
CJ: Archana Mishra         Fri, Jan 09, 2009 16:11:00 IST



November 29, 2004: Swapnil Chandrakant Dhasraskar, second year mechanical at IIT Kanpur
November 10, 2005: Lokesh Chand, third year ECE, IIT Rourkee.
November 17, 2005: Vijay Nakula, fourth year CSE, IIT Powai.
October 9, 2006: Anjan Kumar, second year, Chemical, IIT Kanpur.
November 6, 2006: Abhilash JJ, a PhD scholar from Kerala, pursuing doctoral studies at IIT Kanpur.
April 19, 2008: Prashant Kumar, first year student of electrical engineering, IIT Kanpur.
January 3, 2009: G. Suman, second year M.Tech student, IIT Kanpur.

YOU MIGHT be guessing what are these details for? One thing which grabs the eyeballs in the first glance is Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). These are not the names of the students who have done amazing work in their fields at young age, but names of those who committed suicides. Yes, these suicides are becoming common incidences at IIT.

IIT Kanpur tops the ranking in the number of suicides every year.

The year 2009 began with a fresh suicidal case of G Suman who allegedly killed himself by hanging. Upset over not getting a job through campus recruitment, Suman, a postgraduate IIT student took such a decision. Before him it was Prashant Kumar, first year student who also hanged himself in the room, apparently stressed over his exams. Abhilash JJ allegedly committed suicide consuming some cyanide and wrote a suicide note, which said he was under depression.

Every student who committed suicide at such a renowned institute dealt with severe pressures of various kinds, which are interlinked. Not getting a proper recruitment, examination stress, depression are some of the major factors. So, who should be blamed for these suicides, improper educational system, terrible stress on students in such reputed colleges or we as students who desire for higher studies in such institutes and with high expectation.

Every parent wants their child to be a topper in their class and expecting further, their child should get admission in IIT. When one enters the IIT, there is not only expectation from the parents that the student need to perform better but the student himself who has a higher self expectation being a part of the IIT.

However, to study at IIT is not everyone’s cup of tea. The study material in any of the courses is not only tough but it’s hectic for the students as well. Besides these in every semester two exams are conducted consecutively in a day, which builds a huge pressure on the students’ mind. For a major lot, even the professors seems to uncooperative, as they always try to build pressure on them in some way or the other.

The stress to maintain the reputation of being an IITian, dejected and ashamed because not many students flunk that often and the mounting stress to better and to have a good GPI or CPI is killing (pun intended).

Last but not the least the campus recruitment creates depression for students that make them emotionally weak and force them to end their lives.

Human nature is such that high self expectation creates within us an ego centric attitude, which in a state of depression fills our mind with negative thoughts and provokes for such a cowardly act of committing suicide.

An article that I read stated that suicides are because of an individual intrinsic character. It is also called copy cat suicide. In Wikipidea it has been stated, “The well known suicides serve as a model, in the absence of protective factors for the next suicide. This is referred as ‘suicide contagion’. These occasionally spread through school system, through community or in terms of celebrity suicide wave.”

With the rising suicidal rates, it can be said that today EQ (emotional quotient) is perhaps more important than IQ (intelligence quotient).

118 - 31st Aug 2011 - Student found dead inside IIT Madras campus

Student found dead inside IIT Madras campus

PTI, August 31, 2011 at 09:08


Chennai, Aug 31 (PTI) A 36-year old student of IIT Madras was found dead in a hostel room inside the institute campus here today after he allegedly consumed poison, police said.
 

Gowrishankar, the deceased, was found dead in a room in Cauvery hostel inside the IIT campus in Guindy in the city around 11.30 am, they said.
 

Family dispute is said to be the reason behind the alleged suicide, police said. The student, whose family live in Thiruvottiyur, Chennai, is reported to have consumed poison, they said.
_____________________________________________________________


Student found dead inside IIT Madras campus _ Deccan Herald


Chennai, Aug 31, (PTI):
A 36-year old student of IIT Madras was found dead in a hostel room inside the institute campus here today after he allegedly consumed poison, police said.

Gowrishankar, the deceased, was found dead in a room in Cauvery hostel inside the IIT campus in Guindy in the city around 11.30 am, they said.

Family dispute is said to be the reason behind the alleged suicide, police said. The student, whose family live in Thiruvottiyur, Chennai, is reported to have consumed poison, they said.

__________________________________


Student found dead inside IIT Madras campus


August 31, 2011 at 09:08 

Chennai, Aug 31 (PTI) A 36-year old student of IIT Madras was found dead in a hostel room inside the institute campus here today after he allegedly consumed poison, police said.
Gowrishankar, the deceased, was found dead in a room in Cauvery hostel inside the IIT campus in Guindy in the city around 11.30 am, they said.
Family dispute is said to be the reason behind the alleged suicide, police said. The student, whose family live in Thiruvottiyur, Chennai, is reported to have consumed poison, they said.

____________________________________

IIT-M student found dead in hostel- Times of India
A Selvaraj & M Ramya, TNN Sep 1, 2011, 03.45am IST



CHENNAI: A second-year postgraduate student at IIT-Madras was found dead inside his hostel room on Wednesday.

B Gowri Sankar, a 36-year-old MTech mechanical engineering student, was an employee of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore. Police said there was no suicide note.

"We have sent his laptop to the cyber crime department to see if it contains any documents that could give us clues as to why he committed suicide," a police officer said.



This is the third suicide in the past six months at IIT-M. In February, V Anoop, an MTech mechanical engineering student, committed suicide, and in May, L Nitin Kumar Reddy, another MTech mechanical engineering student, hung himself.

Police said Sankar was a senior engineer at HAL and the company had sponsored his studies at the IIT. He joined the institute on August 8, 2010 and was staying in Cauvery hostel on the campus. Sankar's wife Geetha was trying to reach him on his mobile phone on Wednesday morning and as he did not answer despite repeated attempts, she asked his friend Krishnamurthy, also an MTech student at IIT-M, to check on him.

Geetha and his two sons live at a house in Bangalore. Police said Krishnamurthy went to Sankar's room around 12.30pm and found the door unlocked. He found Sankar lying on his bed with froth at his mouth. He informed the hostel warden and the security officer, who alerted the police. Police inspector B Jaisankar sent the body to the government hospital in Royapettah for postmortem.

Police said Sankar stayed in the room allotted by the college. "He has been doing well academically. We can rule out health problems because not a single report has been filed with the institute hospital in his name," said V G Idichandy, director in-charge at IIT-M.

One of the professors who handled several courses said Sankar was scheduled to leave for Bangalore on Wednesday morning. "He did well in the last semester and didn't seem to be under any stress. He had spoken to his friends in other hostels last evening and they did not notice anything out of the ordinary. He was regular to class and hadn't taken a day off in the last six months," the professor said.

SUICIDES AT IIT-M

October 2008 – Sankar Perumal, MTech mechanical engineering student

May 12, 2010 – R Sandeep, MTech electrical engineering student

February 24, 2011 – V Anoop, MTech mechanical engineering student

May 4, 2011 – L Nitin Kumar Reddy, MTech mechanical engineering student

Aug 31, 2011 – B Gowri Sankar, MTech mechanical engineering student


Thursday, June 16, 2011

117 - 20th May 2011 – List of Dalit Students who have committed suicides- Round Table India

by thedeathofmerit

Here is the list of the Dalit students who have committed suicide in last four years. This is by no means an exhaustive list but covers only those cases which we were able to document and where parents and relatives have raised their voices and had accused the institutions of caste discrimination against their children that led to their suicides.

We are sure that the actual numbers of Dalit students committing suicide in country’s premier institutions in last four years will be much higher.

• M. Shrikant, final year, B.Tech, IIT Bombay, 1st Jan 07

• Ajay S. Chandra, integrated PhD, Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bangalore – 26 Aug, 07

• Jaspreet Singh, final year MBBS, Government Medical College, Chandigarh, 27 Jan 08.

• Senthil Kumar, PHD, School of Physics, University of Hyderabad – 23 Feb 08

• Prashant Kureel, first year, B.Tech, IIT Kanpur, 19 April, 08

• G. Suman, final year, M.Tech, IIT Kanpur, 2nd Jan, 09

• Ankita Veghda, first year, BSc Nursing, Singhi Institute of Nursing, Ahmedabad, 20 April, 09

• D Syam Kumar, first year B.Tech, Sarojini Institute of Engineering and Technology, Vijayawada, 13 Aug, 09

• S. Amravathi, national level young woman boxer, Centre of Excellence, Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, 4th Nov, 09

• Bandi Anusha, B.Com final year, Villa Mary College, Hyderabad, 5th Nov, 09

• Pushpanjali Poorty, first year, MBA, Visvesvaraiah Technological University, Bangalore, 30th Jan, 10

• Sushil Kumar Chaudhary, final year MBBS, Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (formerly KGMC), Lucknow, 31 Jan, 10.

• Balmukund Bharti, final year MBBS, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, 3rd March, 10

• JK Ramesh, second year, BSc, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, 1st July, 10

• Madhuri Sale, final year B.Tech, IIT Kanpur, 17th November, 10

• G. Varalakshmi, B.Tech first year, Vignan Engineering College, Hyderabad, 30 Jan, 2011

• Manish Kumar, IIIrd Year B.Tech, IIT Roorkee, 13 Feb, 11

• Linesh Mohan Gawle, PhD, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, 16 April, 11

116 - 20th May 2011 - Stress: A tough nut for IITs - QUEST

IT JEE is known to be one of the toughest exams to crack. Youngsters come to the institute with stars in their eyes and within no time their dreams begin to turn into reality.

Name an MNC and you know its target has to be an IITian. And what is the package they offer? Whatever one can fancy of. So what is the reason behind the mounting number of suicides and deaths in the IIT campus in the recent past?

To say that three suicides in just three weeks is a mere twist of fate is nothing short of a blunt denial.

Apart from a couple of incidents of suicides that happened at Roorkee, Kanpur and Mumbai, figures reveal that IIT Kharagpur averages a suicide or an attempt, every two years and IIT Mumbai is related with stories of suicide attempts at regular intervals.

“Oh! Everybody is not so lucky to get the plum job at his/her doorstep. The offer varies from person to person, thus creating a gap,” says Rohit a first year student at IIT Delhi.

But Meenal Nalwaya, from Udaipur, has something else to say. Meenal feels that students in the campus have mostly had a good academic record. They develop a habit of seeing themselves at the top anywhere and everywhere. But the platform in IIT is very different. “Everyone here is equally competent, which leads to unwanted tension,” adds Meenal, a first year student at IIT Delhi.

Whereas some blame the never-ending saga of hard work, which makes the schedule very traumatic, others blame the grading system, CGPA (Cumulative grading point average).

This 10-point grading system becomes a hallmark for their performance. “And if a student is not able to score ‘decent’ he is bound to face the music of peer pressure,” says Tarun Sachdeva.

Even Rekha Nagpal and Pratibha, pursuing M Tech from IIT, blame the scoring system. “Much needs to be done to cater to the need of the freshers, who find it difficult to overcome the academic anxiety.”

But Asha, a scholar of PhD, doesn’t agree with others. She believes that academic challenges and the grading points are same for one and all. “There are personal reasons due to which students take such extreme steps,” says Asha.

Identity crisis among the students is another reason given by some students. “I am a gold medallist and have figured in the top-student list throughout. But here I am just one in the campus crowd,” says Madhu, from first year.

Students coming from small towns and cities give a different angle – social pressure.

Professor Nirmal Kumar, from Muzaffarpur, is a faculty member in the civil engineering department. Nirmal believes that the core curriculum is relatively hard as compared to some of the foreign institutes. The other reason for this increasing number of suicides, he says, is the fact that freshers are in some kind of dilemma and are sensitively weak.

He suggests that to cope with such a charged competitive environment a rational outlook to life should be developed in such students. He thinks that reciting the Bible, Gita, Quran or Patanjali can inculcate this change of approach.

Alok and Gaurav Khanna, who are in the final year of IIT Delhi, say that the entrance pattern is to blame. The exam is mostly objective and anyone, who works hard enough can clear it. But life in the campus is not so easy.

“Sometimes we realise that even sharp students become slack in the campus and do not fare well in the exams leading to various mental problems.” “Even the brightest student becomes complacent and thus finds himself in a complicated position,” adds Alok.

“Coming to IIT is only winning half the battle,” says Lalit K Jiwani, a research scholar at IIT Delhi. “The societal and peer pressure surmounts in the campus life and it is not easy for one and all to realise their dreams.

But Somya and Uma, also from IIT Delhi, say that the outlook depends entirely on the individual.

All said and done, we are sure that all those, who come to the IITs are able enough to accept the challenges arising out of various reasons and know that all companies do not go for the CGPA tally.

One thing, which all must remember is that life is very much a success beyond the grades as well!…

115 - 17th May 2011 - Dalit students committing suicide in last 4 years in premier institutions

The Milli Gazette
Published Online: May 17, 2011
Print Issue: 16-31 May 2011
 
Here is a list of Dalit students who committed suicide during the last four years in some premier institutions. This is by no means an exhaustive list as it only covers cases which could be documented and where parents and relatives raised their voices and  accused the institutions of caste discrimination against their children that led to their suicides:
 
1. M. Shrikant, final year, B.Tech, IIT Bombay, 1st Jan 07
2. Ajay S. Chandra, integrated PhD, Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bangalore - 26 Aug, 07
3. Jaspreet Singh, final year MBBS, Government Medical College, Chandigarh, 27 Jan 08.
4. Senthil Kumar, PHD, School of Physics, University of Hyderabad - 23 Feb 08
5. Prashant Kureel, first year, B.Tech, IIT Kanpur, 19 April, 08
6. G. Suman, final year, M.Tech, IIT Kanpur, 2nd Jan, 09
7. Ankita Veghda, first year, BSc Nursing, Singhi Institute of Nursing, Ahmedabad, 20 April, 09
8. D Syam Kumar, first year B.Tech, Sarojini Institute of Engineering and Technology, Vijayawada, 13 Aug, 09
9. S. Amravathi, national level young woman boxer, Centre of Excellence, Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh,Hyderabad, 4th Nov, 09
10. Bandi Anusha, B.Com final year, Villa Mary College, Hyderabad, 5th Nov, 09
11. Pushpanjali Poorty, first year, MBA, Visvesvaraiah Technological University, Bangalore, 30th Jan, 10
12. Sushil Kumar Chaudhary, final year MBBS, Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (formerly KGMC), Lucknow, 31 Jan, 10.
13. Balmukund Bharti, final year MBBS, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, 3rd March, 10
14. JK Ramesh, second year, BSc, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, 1st July, 10
15. Madhuri Sale, final year B.Tech, IIT Kanpur, 17th November, 10
16. G. Varalakshmi, B.Tech first year, Vignan Engineering College, Hyderabad, 30 Jan, 2011
17. Manish Kumar, IIIrd Year B.Tech, IIT Roorkee, 13 Feb, 11
18. Linesh Mohan Gawle, PhD, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, 16 April, 11

A large number of Dalit and Adivasi students committing suicide clearly indicates the wide-spread prevalence of caste discrimination in the Indian education system, which perceives them as 'non-meritorious', not fit to belong there. When a student from the lowest strata of society fights against all odds to prove his/her merit and reach the best educational institutions in India, are those institutions proving themselves meritorious enough to recognize their worth and to accommodate them, let alone nurture their aspirations?

Our communities cannot afford to lose our bright, young hopes like Linesh and Balmukund, in the hands of an insensitive and casteist educational system.

A documentary “The Death of Merit” documents the horors of caste-discrimination that is prevalent in AIIMS, New Delhi that resulted in the suicide of a very bright Dalit student Balmukund Bharti who came  from a very humble background. (Watch the documentary at

http://thedeathofmeritinindia.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/%e2%80%98the-death-of-merit%e2%80%99-a-documentary/)
For more information, contact  Arun Khote ofDalits Media Watch at arun.khote@gmail.com


Caste Discrimination in IIT Delhi
The dismal representation of SC/ST students in IITs demands some serious questioning from all who believe in equal opportunities and social justice. There are various instances that indicate towards the prevalence of caste-based harassment of Dalit students. Recently IIT Delhi was in news due to the termination of 12 Dalit students together with allegations of prevalence of caste-based discrimination. In the wake of this incident, an attempt was made to map the experiences of Dalit students within IIT Delhi structure.

On May 2008, 12 Dalit students (11SC & 1ST) were terminated by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, citing their 'low academic performance'. Eleven of these students were from the first two years of their undergraduate courses.
After receiving the termination letter, some of these students filed a petition in the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes (NCSC), alleging caste-based harassment in IIT Delhi and demanded annulment of their terminations.

According to the students, many IIT Delhi faculty members harbour deep prejudices against students admitted through reservations and they receive very poor grading despite performing well in the exams. The NCSC immediately summoned the Director of IIT Delhi, and asked him to investigate these allegations and also to review the terminations.

Later, in July first week, the IIT administration submitted a one-page report to the NCSC stating that, it has decided to revoke the expulsion of 2 Dalit students by giving some relaxations in their grade requirements. It also informed the NCSC, about the IIT review committee, constituted in response to the summon issued by the NCSC, to inquire about the prevalence of caste based discrimination. The report further stated that 'no case of caste discrimination was brought out by the students in their meeting with the Review Committee'.

The last paragraph of the report reiterated that, "IIT Delhi is very sensitive to the special needs of SC/ST students and faculty members spare no efforts in helping them, and indeed all weak students, to come up to our higher academic standards".
To read this report, please visit: http://thedeathofmeritinindia.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/caste-discrimination-in-iit-delhi-a-report/  or mail Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre at pmarc2008@gmail.com

114 - 15th May 2011 IT student commits suicide on campus - TOI

CHENNAI: A final year IIT-M student committed suicide in his hostel on Wednesday at 2.45pm. Nitin Kumar Reddy, a mechanical engineering student, ended his life minutes after he was told that he would not be able to pass out along with his batchmates this May. Three months ago, another student of the same department killed himself for the same reason.

According to his batchmates, Nitin, 22, was upset after the head of the department Venkateshan SP told him that his course has been extended by six months when he went to submit the abstract for his project. Nitin emailed his father Lakshmana Murthy Reddy, a DRDO official working in Delhi, saying that he was going to end his life as he was scared that the course extension might ruin the job he was offered by a software company. He also called his friend in Bangalore to inform her about his decision. By the time his parents and friend could alert his batchmates, Nitin had hung himself from the ceiling fan inside his hostel room no 463 with the bedspread. IIT-M officials refused to speak. Adyar Deputy Commissioner V Sithanan said they were waiting for his parents to come. A case of suicide has been registered.

Readers' opinions (340)Sort by:Newest|Oldest
 
Quarks@IITM (UK)
07 Jun, 2011 08:50 PM
I am an IIT-M graduate. Do not blame the profs for this fiasco. There are rules to be followed in every walk of life. Schools and Uni are solely the stepping stones to making us successful further in life, and many a time people dont even need this to be successful. Many a time we meet with failure, and that should only build our resolve to succeed in the future. In a country of  1.1 billion people, if you don't take your chance when you get it, you miss the opportunity. IITians are well aware of this fact, as also the fact that they have to compete with fellow IITians across the country and students across the world when it comes to getting into a top US Uni for their Masters. If a deadline to complete a thesis successfully is given, it must to be adhered to and there can be no negotiation on that. The business world is a tough place to exist and the IITs provide a more wholesome development than any other Indian Uni. It is a shame that the misinformed Indian public is trying to pinpoint the blame of the IIT M profs and absolving a student who probably in wind down mode ever since he got an offer from the placement cell a couple of months prior to course completion. Students such as these are seen all too frequently, threatening to throw themselves from the water tank unless they are given a passing grade; and the University cannot be held to ransom by such tomfoolery.
 
Sad IITM student (IITM)
15 May, 2011 10:10 PM
Guide's at IIT's think that they have hired student. Student might work the way they want. Their ideas are killed, and one best quotation in IIT is ....... It my bloody money what I am spending. Please inform them, its not money which belong to them, its tax paid by our parents and people of india to generate great leader. But unfortunately in IIT's they generate them in coffins. When student and guide will come together to do research, they want to publish paper in order to get grant. No institute in India is doing real research. Just they are trying to manipulate things in different ways. Whole system is opposite where research will be conducted. I have friend in IITM- They say we dont want to be Almunai of this graveyard. Please try to change the attitude of prof's and gave them class of research life. I just want you people to comment something related to Prof's attitute....... The grilling they do to us everyday and scolding's as if we r beggers. People we r IITian's. Confirm from any US institute, they have respect for us but these killer's dont. We r the one who changed the face of world, but unfortunate we couldn't change the mentality of Indian Prof. Shame of them who say its satistically insignificant. Life of student is not bar graph or standard deviation. U r killing heros of India. Hope my words will reach to IIT management. May god save us all.
 
raunak (iit-g)
09 May, 2011 08:06 PM
IIT life is the coolest life I have ever seen or known. It is what defines us, makes us the best of the best. It is who we are. Without pressure IIT is nothing
 
raju (dammam)
08 May, 2011 05:26 PM
Getting education is just the beginning of life. One should be big enough to chanllenge the "challenge in life". That should be the attitude, not suicide. Parents should encourage their wards and support to relieve their mental tension. Professors should review their conduct in similar situation and arrange for counciling to students before announcing the information.
 
Bunty (Orissa)
08 May, 2011 12:50 AM
Teacher's in higher education have created such a situation that it is not at all acceptable in a civilized society. Instead of focussing on good education and innovations, their behaviour is more centered towards their ego This is best illustrated in the film "3 Idiots" which demontrates the factual scene from a college campus. The education system is also to be blamed which fails to understand that an IITian is a premier institution where the very best are studying. Having said that, why are the professors mute and they should be held responsible for the mess around.
 
C Suresh (Charlotte, USA) replies to Bunty
08 May, 2011 11:43 PM
3 Idiots is a a big copy from the english movie Patch Adams acted by Robbie Williams. We made 2 movies one as Munna Bhai MBBS and another as 3 idiots. Sad to hear the news... Scientists think that Suicide mentality creates within oneself through genes or something.. Friends and family should keep a watch of their dear ones and help them.