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Thursday, June 16, 2011

94 - 23rd Dec 2010 - No inquiry committee to probe IIT-Kanpur suicides RTI- Deccan Herald

Kanpur, Dec 23, PTI:

Despite suicides by a number of students at IIT Kanpur in the last five years, one of the country's premier institutes has not constituted any inquiry committee to probe the causes of the extreme steps taken by its students, an RTI inquiry revealed today.

The RTI application was filed by PTI seeking details from the institute's authorities regarding the number students who committed suicide, the reports of the inquiry committees formed after each suicide and the preventive measures taken after the incidents.

The response to the application stated that the concerned authorities did not have any information about the reasons behind the suicides of the eight IITians that took place over a five-year period from 2005-2010.

"No inquiry committee has been formed to investigate the cause behind these suicides but a fact finding committee led by a senior professor has been formed to suffice the purpose," IIT Kanpur Director Professor Sanjay Govind Ghande said.

He said the task of the fact finding committee is to inspect if any student or faculty member is responsible for the incidents of suicide, but no such case has come up so far.
However, Ghande declined to comment on the report prepared by the committee, saying it is an internal matter of the institution.

According to the response to the RTI application, among the eight students who committed suicide, five killed themselves by hanging from ceiling fans, one by jumping from the terrace of the faculty building and the two by jumping before a train and consuming poison respectively.

More than a month has passed since Madhuri Sale, a final year BTech student of the institute was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her hostel room here. But no progress has been made in this regard.

"A counselling centre has been formed at the premises of the institute to de-stress the students and help them solve their problems. Besides this, several social and entertainment programmes like galaxy, spectrum and yoga classes were also organised at regular intervals for the students," he said in reply to the query regarding the steps taken to prevent any further suicides.

He said the students focus less on their studies following the freedom they enjoy in the institution and those who committed suicide took the step after they were unable to bear academic pressure.