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Friday, August 31, 2012

170 - Task force draft on campus suicides ready -TNN

C D S Mani, TNN | Aug 31, 2012, 09.12AM IST

Chennai: A task force appointed to investigate suicide cases in Indian Institutes of Technology and centrally-funded educational institutions has prepared its draft report contaning recommendations . The task force was appointed by the Union human resources development ministry .

"We have more or less completed the draft report following meetings over the past three days at IIT Madras and it will be reviewed by the full panel of the task force in mid-S eptember before it is submitted to the HRD ministry ," Prof M Anandakrishnan , leader of the task force , told TOI on Thursday.
"It is a comprehensive report factoring in the global and Indian scenarios and is basedon presentations made by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS ), Mumbai , besides IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras .It will make a specific set of recommendations for implementation and follow-up action ," he said but declined to divulge any details . 

The task force was appointed six months ago following an increasing number of suicides in central government-run educational campuses . It was asked by the HRD ministry to look into the whole system followed in the institutions , including grading , that may trigger depression . It has met twice in Delhi and has had deliberations in Kanpur and Chennai as well. 

IIT Madras has been rocked by two suicides this year alone . In April , 20-year-old Kuldeep Yadav from Agra , a second year civil engineering student , hung himself in his hostel room , due to an alleged love failure . In August , S Merugu Manasa , 21, from Andhra Pradesh , an MTech student , hung herself in her hostel room at the IIT campus due to some personal problems . She was married to a software professional in Hyderabad . She left no suicide note but other students in the hostel dormitory said Merugu looked depressed the day she hung herself . Three students committed suicide in the campus in 2011. 

Seven students took the drastic step in IITs across the country in 2011. According to the HRD ministry , IITs reported two suicides in 2010, four in 2009 and five in 2008 . National Crime Records Bureau report says that there has been a 26 % rise in student suicides in India between 2006 and 2010. The reasons attributed are academic stress in a high performance environment , peer pressure , depression and high expectations of family . 

"Intelligence has nothing to do with emotions ," said consultant psychiatrist Lakshmi Vijayakumar asked why IIT students believed to be bright students , would ever resort to suicide.