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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

64 - 17th July 2009 - Suicide spree: IIT-Kharagpur to get professional counsellors - Indian Express

Shiv Sahay Singh
Tags : kolkata, IIT-K
Posted: Fri Jul 17 2009, 03:58 hr

The recent spate of suicide incidents taking place inside the campus of IIT- Kharagpur has forced the authorities to involve professional counsellors to help students cope up with stress.

“The counselling centre has a broader objective. It will not only look after the academic side but will see whether the students are suffering from any personal stress,” said D Gunasekaran, Registrar IIT-Kharagpur.

Gunasekaran said that apart from the faculty members who will counsel the students, professional counsellors would be hired to help the students de-stress. The institute has already placed an advertisement for hiring professional counselors but before it finalises on it, the faculty members will serve as counsellors.

Institute officials say all the suicide incidents are not related to academic stress as there are a number of cases where the students took the extreme step because of personal problems.

According to faculty members, students join the institute at a very young age — 18 and 19 years old — and thus they suffer from home sickness. “So it is necessary for the institute to ensure that students do not feel isolated,” they said.

They added that the previous concept of faculty members as counsellor has not worked and hence it was decided to hire a professional counsellor.

Experts say that those who join the IITs have to go through tough competition and are prone to depression and stress even if they face slight rejection or failure. “The students do not have an aptitude for a job but they are keen to get it only because of peer pressure. The students sometimes suffer from rejection factor when they fail to qualify the interview,” said Prof B K Mathur, a professor of physics and the placement head of the institute.

Mathur added the counsellors will also help the student choose the right kind of job.

“The counselling centre can help a student who has an inclination towards core sciences take a job in that discipline rather than going for software since his peers have done so,” said Mathur.

The institute houses around 8,000 students in its campus that is spread over 2,100 acres.

3 and counting...
April 23: K Ramananda Rao a fourth-year chemical engineering student committed suicide. According to fellow students, he was not doing well in academics.

June 15: Manoj Kumar, a first-year student, committed suicide. The dead body was recovered a few days after he committed suicide as most of the students were away on vacation.

July 15: Yogendra Kumar Singh, a student who secured 400 rank in this years IIT entrance test, committed suicide. According to reports, he was keen on joining some other institute.