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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Is Education Really Understood By Even The Educated ? Another Student Commits Suicide - Exams Watch

Education News, OpinionJuly 26, 2016




To be called an educated is not a concern for everyone anymore. Rather, the word has lost its real connotation over the years. Today, the struggle is to be a part of that crowd that is aspiring to head toward a similar direction. This march has million heads and somewhere when all these heads carry a similar notion, that very notion appear to be the idea to live for. 

In the realm of education, where its mini-fields like engineering and medical boast of many aspirants, it becomes difficult to identify with those who actually want to be a part of these fields. In the process of learning an unwanted subject, some aspirants become so disoriented that they either decide to quit or go the other way. The latter is more due to the fear of what the society would perceive and how their parents would react.
With the surging cases of suicide of students, it is imperative to know why these students are aiming for just one solution. 

Apparently, the answer is more subjective than it appears to be. If one looks at these cases, they will notice that most of these cases erupt from coaching hubs where a herd is sent to get prepared for engineering and medical entrances. Unable to endure the never ceasing voices of pressure with the incessant classes that happen in these hubs, the reasons behind suicides are understandable. So what is exactly prompting these students not to opt for simply dropping the idea of that field and choose something else over it?

A lot could be attributed to a bad concept that Indian parents have regarding education. It is true that for many, education is science and science is education. The other fields are looked down as something that only the less-than-average opts for. 

They push their child much against the child’s will to become either engineer or doctor. Their perception for Arts is relegated and they instill the same idea in the child’s brain. So if the child is not able to run as fast as the other, taking away the life is the only alternative he/she feels is left with him. 

The recent case of the IIT aspirant who hanged himself is a consequence of the tousled ideas of education. He is said to be the twelfth student to have died in the coaching hub Kota this year.

These figures may not perturb the still-confused lot in that crowd. However, the ones who are yet to decide and do not feel inclined towards these hubs should start speaking up. Speak for yourself in front of your parents before you are made to toil in the same unflustered space. That space was never yours and, in all probability, you will never be able to carve your own space out of it.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

'Suicides in educational institutions not higher than society' - ZEE NEWS


Last Updated: Monday, July 25, 2016 - 18:10

New Delhi: Suicide rate in premier educational institutions in India is not higher than the society at large, but the government is determined to prevent recurrence of such incidents, the HRD ministry today said citing studies conducted by the IITs.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) Mahendra Nath Pandey said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha that this a serious matter and the government is determined to prevent such incidents in future.

IIT aspirant found hanging in Kota hostel - TNN


TNN | Jul 24, 2016, 02.36 PM IST

Jaipur: A 17-year-old coaching student from Bihar's Motihari district has been found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room in Rajasthan's Kota.

Police said they had not found any suicide note and were awaiting Prince Kumar Rajput's postmortem report to ascertain whether he had killed himself. "It is too early to say anything," said Jaiprakash Beniwal, an investigator.

Since 2015, several suicides have been reported from the coaching hub. This year alone, eight student suicides were reported from the area before Rajput's body was recovered.As many as 17 students killed themselves last year. Rajput had arrived in Kota last month to prepare for Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) after clearing Class X. He had enrolled at a private school in Kota.Friends said, an hour before he was found hanging, Rajput had cracked jokes with them.

IIT aspirant commits suicide in Kota, 12th death this year - The Hindu

KOTA, July 24, 2016


IIT aspirant commits suicide in Kota, 12th death this year

A 17-year-old IIT aspirant from Bihar allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan of his hostel room in Indira Vihar area of the city, police said on Saturday.
Prince Kumar Singh, a resident of Motihari district of Bihar who had arrived at Kota a month ago, is the twelfth student to have died in the coaching hub this year.

He was preparing for an engineering entrance exam at a coaching institute here, said Radha Kishan, ASI at Vigyannagar police station.

No suicide note was found in his room. The body has been sent for post-mortem, he said.

Deceased from Bihar
The deceased boy was also reported to have spoken on phone to his parents in Bihar just minutes before he took the extreme step on Friday night, the ASI added.

Police have lodged a case under Section 174 of CrPC in this connection.

His attendance record and performance in studies have been sought from the coaching institute’s management while his hostel mates are being questioned to ascertain the exact reason behind the step, Mr Kishan said.

This is the second suicide by a coaching student from Bihar.
On July 5, a medical aspirant identified as Nikhil Kumar (20), from Bhagalpur, Bihar was found hanging in his hostel room in Kunhadi police station area of the city.
- PTI

Sunday, July 24, 2016

IIT-aspirant Prince Kumar Singh commits suicide in Kota, 12th death this year - Economic Times

By PTI | Jul 23, 2016, 01.03 PM IST




This is the second suicide by a coaching student from Bihar.

KOTA: A 17-year-old IIT aspirant from Bihar allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan of his hostel room in Indira Vihar area of the city, police said today. 

Prince Kumar Singh, a resident of Motihari district of Bihar who had arrived at KOTA a month ago, is the twelfth student to have died in the coaching hub this year. 

He was preparing for an engineering entrance exam at a coaching institute here, said Radha Kishan, ASI at Vigyannagar police station. 

No suicide note was found in his room. The body has been sent for post-mortem, he said. 

The deceased boy was also reported to have spoken on phone to his parents in Bihar just minutes before he took the extreme step last night, the ASI added. 

Police have lodged a case under section 174 of CrPC in this connection. 

His attendance record and performance in studies have been sought from the coaching institute's management while his hostel mates are being questioned to ascertain the exact reason behind the step, Kishan said. 

This is the second suicide by a coaching student from Bihar. 


On July 5, a medical aspirant identified as Nikhil Kumar (20), from Bhagalpur, Bihar was found hanging in his hostel room in Kunhadi police station area of the city.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

What The Suicides At IIT Tell Us About Where We're Going Wrong - NDTV


What The Suicides At IIT Tell Us About Where We're Going Wrong
Rukmini Bhaya Nair

A strapping youth walks into my office. I know him from one of my classes. He's gifted at Mathematics, has a talent for argument and a love of heavy metal music. Satpal (name changed) also has caring friends who have contacted the Dean of Students, his parents, me. They've noticed a change in his behavior. "He's disconnected, ma'am", they tell me simply. 

Satpal himself is far more articulate and his words have stayed with me. "Those pearls around your neck," he says, "they're on a thread, right? All together. Imagine the string broken, the beads scattered on the floor. That's how my mind feels." Although what Satpal is suffering from is not simple depression, his metaphor is illustrative of how skilled students are today at describing their own symptoms. 

The youth of this country are, in effect, sending our planners and politicians a strong message. But is anyone listening? 

Even if we limit ourselves to a brief roster of some 2016 deaths alone, there seems to be real cause for alarm. In January, Rohith Vemula's on-campus protest suicide at Hyderabad, accompanied by an extremely eloquent note explaining the causes of his angst, constituted the proverbial "wake-up call". 

Later in the year, on June 1, a quiet, former student of IIT Kharagpur, Mainak Sarkar, did the unthinkable: he murdered his wife at home in America and then drove several thousand miles to shoot his PhD supervisor in  Los Angeles. He followed these shocking acts by turned his handgun on himself in a final gesture of silencing. 

38-year-old IIT-Kharagpur alumni Mainak Sarkar killed his estranged wife Ashley Hasti in June this year

Last week, at IIT Madras, two women took their own lives on campus, one of them a student. 

How do we read the connections between these varieties of tragic on-campus Indian suicides? Is there, in Satpal's words, a "string" that links them - or not? Of course, the circumstances were diverse and we must be careful not to homogenize differences of gender, class, caste, geography and a myriad other factors. Each death is as individual as the life that it ends. That said, we must take cognizance of some pretty alarming nationwide statistics, especially given our uniquely populous young demographic.

In 2011, WHO declared India the "most depressed country" in the world. Their case is convincing and blows many myths. Contrary to expectations, for example, "advanced" nations like the Netherlands and the US have rates of depression that, at 30% of the general population, are almost double those in "developing" countries like China where it is about 12%.  

India, however, bucks the emotional trend as it does the economic one. In this respect, India appears more like a developed country than a developing one. A conundrum. But the resolution to this odd, oppressive puzzle may well lie, prima facie, in actually linking these twin factors of an economic "high" and emotional "lows". 

It's as plain as pickle is spicy to even the most casual of culture-tasters that Indian society as a whole is undergoing unusually rapid social change in these tumultuous first decades of the 21st century. Large-scale urbanization is now juxtaposed in our social experience against a distressing landscape of rural desertion and farmer suicides; we are everyday witnesses to the powerful centrifugal forces of regionalism pulling away from any simple centripetal narrative of nationalism; and, simultaneously, we find Constitution-backed reiterations of gender, caste and religious entitlements being wholly undermined by mounting evidence of real-life mob-rule and medieval-sounding diktats from community "leaders".

Rohith Vemula, a Hyderabad University Dalit scholar, committed suicide in January

Most of all, media rules. Images of devastating violence, including barbaric beheadings and BMW mow-downs, regularly appear onscreen cheek-by-jowl with titillating visions of glamorous life-styles and magic celebrity status. Facebook has become the new stage for the performance of life and death sagas.

In all, we seem to have a classic death-wish scenario here, where those delicate supple strings that have long held the marvelously composite civilization of this subcontinent together are stretched so taut that they are in danger of snapping. 

Can we really expect our population, many of whom have come of age only in the last couple of decades, to be blithely immune to these enormous stresses, both virtual and lived, local and cosmo? 

These are generations in the 15-45 age-range. All the campus suicides I mentioned earlier fall in this category. Statistics tell us that, in 2012, 68% of all suicides in India occurred in the combined age-groups 15-29 and 30-44. That is, there were about 46,000 or 34% suicides in each bracket, amounting to 92,000 or almost a lakh. Moreover, over 80% of these suicides were literate. This is cause enough for alarm but it still does not take into account another worrying set of figures that relates directly to the recent IIT Madras suicides, one by a research scholar, the other by the wife of a faculty member. 

Severe depression is held to be a fairly reliable predictor of suicide and the rate of depression among Indian women, able and educated, is steadily rising. In quite a few cases, including at IIT Madras, there are children left behind who are also sometimes "at risk" as a result. Women are at the heart of family, of an emotional economy. If this half of our adult population is becoming increasingly vulnerable, and we cannot get to them effectively even on sites as protected as premier university campuses, we should be very concerned indeed. A 2015 study by three women in the "Indian Journal of Psychiatry" underlines this exact point when it quotes from the WHO report, stating that "the burden of depression is 50% higher for females than males."

How do we as a society relieve this 'burden of depression", especially among women whose main causes of depression in India still stem from family pressures and social stigma, howsoever educated they are? I'm one of those old-fashioned optimists who believe that we can - and must - tackle this hydra-headed monster directly. If we look away, we are doomed. If we look within, however, we have a chance of winning against the odds. This is because the precise complexities of subcontinental social relations have long bred courage, resilience and empathy for others. No one embodies these sophisticated virtues better than the average Indian woman. That is why we need to ensure her well-being. She is the best insurance we have against the present death-wish plaguing this country, literally from Kashmir (reported to have terribly high rates of depression and hopelessness) to Kanyakumari (located in a state with one of the highest rates of depression in India).

Over the years, various people have drawn attention to this lethal combo of aspiration and excitement, alienation and despair that signals danger among India's young. Chetan Bhagat profiles the suicide route in his telling short story "Cut Off". Likewise, suicide was an explicit theme in my book 'Technobrat', written with my IIT students nearly 20 years ago. The magazine 'Week' also devoted a whole issue to "Depression" as long ago as the year 2000 where it profiled the models Madhu Sapre and Manpreet Brar's struggles with depression. I have since returned to these matters in my NDTV columns and elsewhere as have others whose opinions are weightier. But "the authorities" appear unmoved. Wherefore all the fuss? After all, India's current death rate is very respectable: just one per person.

(Critical theorist and writer Rukmini Bhaya Nair is a professor at IIT Delhi. She is the author of several academic books.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pressure at home to drop research tied to suicide - NYOOOZ


Summary: Maheshwari (34), doing research in Chemistry, was found hanging dead in her hostel room at around 5 pm on Wednesday. Meanwhile, G Vijayalakshmi (47), wife of an Assistant Professor at IIT-Madras, also committed suicide on Wednesday in the campus quarters. While it was believed that a suicide note was recovered from Maheswari’s room, police officers denied the claim. 

CHENNAI: It could have been family pressure against continuing studies that forced P Maheshwari to commit suicide in her hostel room on Wednesday, say police investigating the death of the post-doctoral research scholar at IIT-Madras. She had very recently visited her family in Puducherry and had returned to the campus only on Tuesday.

 Maheshwari (34), doing research in Chemistry, was found hanging dead in her hostel room at around 5 pm on Wednesday. She was married to Pandiarajan, who is an HOD in a private college near Puducherry, for 12 years and the couple have a 10-year-old son. The father and son are living in Puducherry. 

Based on inquiries with family members, disharmony in family is suspected by police to be the motivation as they had objected to Maheshwari living separately to pursue her research. “A relative of the victim told us that her family scolded her for not staying with them and taking care of the child,” said a police source privy to the case. However, the family members, speaking to Express on Thursday, denied the version and said Maheswari did not have any issues with them.

While it was believed that a suicide note was recovered from Maheswari’s room, police officers denied the claim. However, police said that they had recovered a broken cellphone from the room and were collecting details on the calls made by her on Wednesday. Maheswari had been staying in Chennai for the last one year to pursue her fellowship at IIT-Madras. She had very recently visited her family in Puducherry and had returned to the campus only on Tuesday. Meanwhile, G Vijayalakshmi (47), wife of an Assistant Professor at IIT-Madras, also committed suicide on Wednesday in the campus quarters. 

Two Suicides in a Day at IITM

Two Suicides in a Day at IITM

Read all articles published on this Topic here

https://news.google.com/news/story?ncl=http://www.sify.com/news/tamil-nadu-two-women-commit-suicide-at-iit-madras-campus-news-national-qhok0igceccgj.html&hl=en&geo=AU

Four suicides in a year: What is wrong with IIT Madras? - Financial Express

Four people including two students and a research scholar have committed suicide on IIT Madras campus since September last year. The latest deaths took place within three hours on Wednesday, raising serious questions over the premier institute's functioning

By: Rajeev Kumar | New Delhi | Published: July 14, 2016 1:25 PM

The institute this year was ranked first among several other similar research and teaching institutions in engineering.

Four people including two students and a research scholar have committed suicide on IIT Madras campus since September last year. The latest deaths took place within three hours on Wednesday, raising serious questions over the premier institute’s functioning

Police suspected “family issues” could have forced two women — a 34-year-old post-doctoral scholar, P Maheswari, and Vijaya Lakshmi (47) — to commit suicide on Wednesday. Earlier, two B Tech students — Rahul G Prasad (22) and N Nagendra Kumar Reddy (21) — had killed themselves in October and September 2015 respectively.

Police sources reportedly said that Laxshmi, wife of a teacher on the campus, was depressed and she had tried to kill herself earlier also. But not much was clear about Maheshwari, who was married and had a son.

In a statement, the institute said, “IIT Madras reports with deep sadness the death of a post-doctoral research scholar in the campus. The scholar’s family has been informed. The institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss.”

However, one cannot stop oneself from wondering if there is something wrong with the institute. In past, there has been several reports claiming that multiple stresses on the campus lead students to commit suicide.

Among the reasons floated for Rahul’s suicide last year were a failed relationship and anxiety about placement, Indian Express reported in September last.

Antariksh Bothale, an IIT Bangalore graduate points out in a Quora post: “Suicide is a complicated thing. It looks like a random incident to an outsider, but it is usually the denouement of a long and complicated story.”

The institute this year was ranked first among several other similar research and teaching institutions in engineering.

Among several pointers including “competitive atmosphere”, “veneer of apathy and general indifference and financial issues”, he says, “There’s the additional complication of the skewed gender ratio. As a freshman you joke about it until it stops being funny, and as a senior you just resign to your fate, but the truth remains that lack of sufficient interaction with the opposite gender can contribute to overall stress.”

Writing about the various reasons leading students to commit suicide, IIT Madras alumni Dileep Patchigolla says on Quora: “The expectations could be quite high when one enters an IIT.”
While there is a “peer pressure” what adds more pressure, he says, is the “the sheer number of talented guys around you. Other top colleges too have quite bright students, but the number of such students is higher in IITs. So the chance of failure is higher in IITs compared to other top colleges.”

Police detain protesters outside IIT-Madras on Tuesday. (Source: PTI photo)

Sharing his experience on the campus, Dileep writes, “…during my stay in IITM, I saw several people getting project extensions at the end of their final year. So they couldn’t finish their graduation in the stipulated time and had to stay longer. This would mean they lose their jobs they got in campus placements. This has infact resulted in the suicide of a person I knew.”
Apart from the multiple stress, some students also get alienated during their stay on the campus due to change in character of students and the entry of first generation learners.
Quoting an MA student, Indian Express said, ” “Even professors who would stand for rights and equality conveniently avoid Dalit students or those who come from poor backgrounds as a delay in completing a thesis or projects would affect their careers too. So many teachers don’t think it is useful to help these students; instead they prefer the best ones. All these realities strengthen the alienation of a section of students who eventually fail to convince themselves about their goals and purpose of life.”

Central Lecture Theatre at IIT-M. (Source: Facebook)

Not only the suicides, the institute has been embroiled in several controversies since the last year.

Here are some of them:
  • In May last year, IIT Madras was in the news for for banning Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC), an independent student body, which triggered a social media campaign and widespread protests. The decision was taken following an anonymous complaint that the student’s body was trying to spread “hatred” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • More recently the institute was again in the middle of a controversy for organising a closed-door conference on ”Swadesi Indology” led by NRI writer Rajiv Malhotra.
  • On Ambedkar Day celebrations this year, the institute had enforced strict rules.
  • In February this year, the institute reportedly issued a circular banning all kinds of “political activity” because that is “against the apolitical nature of the institute”.



IIT Madras, 2 Women, Both Mothers, Found Hanging Within 3 Hours - NDTV


Chennai | Agencies | Updated: July 14, 2016 18:21 IST

CHENNAI: 
HIGHLIGHTS
  1. A research scholar, the wife of a professor found hanging at IIT Madras
  2. Police say both women committed suicide
  3. Investigation on to find out the reason of their death

Two women - a research scholar and the wife of a professor - were found hanging in their rooms at the Indian Institute of Technology or IIT Madras campus on Wednesday.

Police say 34-year-old post-doctoral scholar P Maheswari and 47-year-old Vijaya Lakshmi committed suicide. They were both mothers of young children.

Vijaya Lakshmi's husband Ganesan teaches Physics at the institute. A mother of two, she was found hanging at the family's room inside the campus around 4 pm on Wednesday.

Less than three hours later, the body of P Maheswari was found in her hostel room. She had been married for 12 years and has an 11-year-old son. Sources in the police say she was reportedly "depressed" and had attempted to kill herself earlier as well.

"She was a strong, independent woman," said Ms Maheswari's brother Sathish Kumar, who appeared to be in shock.

While investigations are on to ascertain the exact reason for their deaths, a senior police official said they suspect "family issues" could have led to them taking the extreme step.

Condoling the scholar's death, IIT Madras released a statement yesterday saying "IIT Madras reports with deep sadness the death of a post-doctoral research scholar in the campus. The scholar's family has been informed. The institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss."

The institute added that it is taking "necessary action and extending full cooperation to civil authorities."

IIT Madras had witnessed suicide of two students in September and October last year.

IIT Madras shocker: 2 women commit suicide on campus on same night - India Today

Two women decided to end their lives in two separate incidents on the same night. A post doctoral student, Maheswari, 34 years and Varalakshmi, 47 years, were the two who committed suicide.

Akshaya Nath  | Posted by Avarnita Mathur
Chennai, July 14, 2016 | UPDATED 18:01 IST

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras campus was in a state of silence and shock. The generally happening campus was filled with tight security check, following two shocking incidents on the night of July 13, 2016.

Two women decided to end their lives in two separate incidents on the same night. A post doctoral student, Maheswari, 34 years and Varalakshmi, 47 years, were the two who committed suicide.

NO SUICIDE NOTE FOUND


The investigating officials have said that these two separate incidents have happened due to respective personal reasons. However, the police have not found suicide note in both the incidents.

According to police, the post doctoral student's husband is the head of the department of a university in Villupuram and the couple have a 11-year-old son. It is also reported that Varalakshmi, who committed suicide in the staff quarters was the wife of a professor at IIT Madras. Varalakshmi is said to have been depressed about the health of her child who was mentally challenged.

WHAT THE INSTITUTE SAID
IIT Madras officials are shocked by the two incidents and have sent out the following message:

"IIT Madras reports with deep sadness, the death of a post-doctoral research scholar in the campus. The scholar's family has been informed. The institute is taking necessary action and is extending full cooperation to the civil authorities.

The institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss.

We are sure that the media is with us in respecting the privacy of the individual and giving due consideration for the feelings of the bereaved family and friends during this difficult time."

TWO WOMEN FOUND HANGING IN IIT MADRAS - Mumbai Mirror



Mumbai Mirror | Jul 15, 2016, 12.50 AM IST

One is a research scholar and the other a professor's wife; both mothers of young children.

Two women — a research scholar and the wife of a professor — were found hanging in their rooms at the Indian Institute of Technology or IIT Madras on Wednesday. Police said 34-year-old post-doctoral scholar P Maheswari and 47-year-old Vijaya Lakshmi committed suicide within hours of each other. Both were mothers of young children. 

Vijaya Lakshmi's husband Ganesan teaches physics at the institute. A mother of two, she was found hanging at the family's room inside the campus around 4 pm on Wednesday. 

Within three hours, the body of P Maheswari was found in her hostel room. Married for 12 years, she has an 11-year-old son. Sources in the police say she was reportedly "depressed" and had attempted to kill herself earlier as well. "She was a strong and independent woman," said Maheswari's brother Sathish Kumar, who appeared to be in a state of shock. 

While investigations are on to ascertain the exact reason for their deaths, a senior police official said "family issues" could have forced the two women to take the extreme step. 

Condoling the scholar's death, IIT Madras released a statement on Wednesday saying, "IIT Madras reports with deep sadness the death of a post-doctoral research scholar on the campus. The scholar's family has been informed. The institute extends its condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss."

Dual suicides rock IIT Madras campus- New Kerala

Posted 2 days ago | IBNS



Chennai, July 14 : A dual suicide on Wednesday rocked the IIT Madras campus as a student and a professor's wife decided to end their respective lives in separate cases, reports stated.

The deceased were identified as P Maheshwari, a 34-year old post doctoral scholar and G Vijayalakshmi, a 47 year-old wife of a Physics professor.

Reports quoted local police officials as saying that Vijaylakshmi was the first to be spotted and as people were coming to terms with the loss another news of a similar incident left them shell-shocked.

Maheshwaris body was spotted hanging at5 pm. She was a hostel resident and a native of Puducherry. The mother of a six-year-old was pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship course in Chemistry.

Meanwhile, issuing a statement, IIT Madras said, The scholars family has been informed. The Institute is taking necessary action and is extending full cooperation to the civil authorities. The Institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss.


A case under Section 174 of CrPC (Criminal Procedure) has been registered by Kotturpuram police.

IIT Madras suicides: Scholars stint would have ended in a week - New Indian Express

By Express News Service

Published: 15th July 2016 06:00 AM

  • Maheswari’s husband Pandiyarajan and other relatives wait in front of Royapettah hospital to receive her body, in the city in Thursday | martin louis 
CHENNAI: The suicide of P Maheshwari came as a shock to her family, especially as she was in the final few days of her research fellowship. The post-doctoral research scholar was found hanging in her room in Sabarmathi hostel in IIT-Madras by other students on Wednesday evening around 5 pm.

“Her course was ending by July 22. Even when I visited her two weeks ago, she appeared normal,” Satish Kumar, Maheshwari’s cousin told Express at Government Royapettah Hospital. Maheshwari’s husband Pandiyarajan, Head Of Department (HOD) in a college, and the couple’s 10-year-old son had also come to the hospital where the autopsy was being done.

Satish Kumar said he was informed by another relative who called him up after a person from IIT-M informed the family.
Denying the reports about family conflict behind the suicide, Satish Kumar said, “I am 100 per cent sure it cannot be family reasons. She was a very strong woman and always into studies.”

Growing up in a family rooted in agriculture, she went on to pursue her degrees. Her family was always supportive, Satish said.

“From what we know so far, she went to have breakfast and did not turn up for lunch. Later, when friends went to check on her, they found her hanging,” Satish added.

The family of the other deceased woman, G Vijayalakshmi (47), did not wish to speak. The bodies of both women were handed over to their families after autopsy.


Two suicides in IIT-M - The Hindu

CHENNAI, July 15, 2016


STAFF REPORTER

In two separate incidents, a research scholar and the wife of a professor, both from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, committed suicide on the campus on Wednesday.

Police sources said that P. Maheswari (34), a post-doctoral research scholar in chemistry, was a resident of Puducherry. She was staying at the Sabarmati hostel on the campus.
On Wednesday, around 4 p.m., she was found hanging. Police sources said that she was married.

In another incident, G. Vijayalakshmi(47), wife of Ganesan, a professor at the institute, was found hanging in their flat.
The police are investigating. Both the bodies have been sent to the Government Royapettah hospital for post-mortem examination.

In a statement, the institution said the family of the research scholar had been informed of the incident and that they are extending full cooperation to the authorities. 

Sneha's suicide prevention helpline is 044 24640050 and the State's helpline is 104.

Tamil Nadu: Two women commit suicide at IIT Madras campus - Sify News



Read more at: http://www.sify.com/news/tamil-nadu-two-women-commit-suicide-at-iit-madras-campus-news-national-qhok0igceccgj.html

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 14, 2016 17:57 hrs


Chennai: Two women, a post doctoral female research scholar and the wife of a professor, allegedly committed suicide at Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IITM) campus on Wednesday.. 

According to police, the victims P Maheshwari, a post doctoral research scholar, and Vijaya Lakshmi, wife of a professor were found hanging at their respective rooms.  Vijaya Lakshmi, wife of Physics professor Ganesan was found hanging at the family room inside the campus around 4 pm. Around three hours later, Maheshwari was found hanging in her hostel room. 

Sources say that Maheshwari, married for 12 years, was depressed and had attempted to kill herself earlier as well. The police are investigating the case to assert the exact reason for the deaths. Reports say that the two women could have committed suicide due to family issues. 

According to IIT-M, it is extending full cooperation to the authorities in investigation and will take the necessary steps. "IIT Madras reports with deep sadness the death of a post-doctoral research scholar in the campus. The scholar's family has been informed. The institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss," said a statement released by IIT Madras.


Why children are killing themselves despite cracking IITs - Daily O


Kota suicides represent collective failure of the society.

Dinesh C Sharma

The spate of suicides being reported from the coaching capital of India, Kota, should shock all of us. Young children are killing themselves not because they are not able to get admission into any Indian Institution of Technology (IIT), but because of sheer pressure of coaching and obsession of parents with IITs.

The most poignant is the case of a girl who killed herself despite "cracking" the joint entrance examination for IIT with a good rank. She took the extreme step of ending her young life because she did not want to become an engineer but a scientist. This is indeed a sad commentary on everyone - education system, parents, media, governments and politicians.
Kota suicides represent collective failure of the society. Over the years, we have created an atmosphere in which IITs have been placed on a pedestal - an ultimate goal for young children.


Any inability to reach there is considered end of career dreams for many. For middle-class and poor parents, an admission into IIT appears to be the best career option, a passport to megabuck jobs and good life. The biggest beneficiaries of this craze are coaching centres in Kota, Guntur, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Patna and elsewhere.

The frenzy begins with IITs, which themselves are under wrong impression that they are among the best engineering schools in the world. They always pride themselves by the number of students competing for each seat, hiding real academic indicators such as innovation, research output and teacher-student ratio.

Kids are being deprived of basic schooling and robbed of their childhood. 
Forget any comparison with MIT and Harvard, the combined research output of IITs is far below that of just two technology universities in Singapore - National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.
The faculty shortage in IITs is pathetic, as pointed out by the parliamentary committee on higher education last month.
While all such serious issues are shoved under the carpet, all that we hear are unverified claims about salary packages - which help IITs further consolidate their brands and lure gullible middle class parents. Tall claims about placements by IITs actually boost business of coaching centres which are first contact points for parents.


Coaching centres then start hyping up their own brands by making false and unethical claims about ranks of their students.
Some of them even hold entrance tests - an entrance test for preparing for entrance test. The coaching business operates in connivance with state education departments, which turn a blind eye to "dummy schools" where children are enrolled for Class 10 or 12 CBSE or state board examinations but are actually studying in coaching institutes.

These kids are being deprived of basic schooling and robbed of their childhood. Their growing years are spent in 10-12 hours of rote learning and solving multiple choice questions, blunting their mental growth and capacity to think and ask questions.
It is time we wake up to end this menace. We will have to work at different levels. IITs will have to be deglamourised. Parents need counselling and the government needs to act tough with coaching industry.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Why student suicides in IITs are not ceasing - DailyO.In


At these Indian institutes of tensions, even erstwhile toppers end up succumbing to exceedingly exalted expectations.

Apoorva Pathak

The news of suicides of two women in the IIT Madras campus once again brings to fore the disconcerting reality of unacceptably high number of suicides that take place among the institutes that are the pride of the nation.

While suicides among IIT aspirants is easily attributable to the toll that the hyper competition takes - the failure of our education system to prepare our youths to deal with stress, the do-or-die struggle around entering IITs, extreme societal pressure, etc - what explains students, who have already managed entry into the supposed dream world of IITs also, committing suicide?

A combination of factors underscore what is now becoming a disturbing trend among premier institutions, including the IITs, being tainted by bright students taking their own lives.

Failure to integrate SC/ST students
A large number of suicides in the IITs are committed by students from SC/ST background. The reason for this lies in the less than appreciable assimilation of SC/ST students in the institute.

The students come from a less privileged background, have a lot riding over their shoulders and don't get the same level of support that their fellow students from more privileged backgrounds get.

Some of them have trouble with their academics due to the difference in institutional culture of the respective schools they attended and the IITs.


Moreover, they get into language troubles as the medium of instruction is mostly English in these engineering havens, which many from underprivileged backgrounds are not very comfortable with.

This results in them facing difficulty in understanding and fully following the complicated lectures delivered in a relatively unfamiliar language.

The academic troubles are made worse by social exclusion.

Academic apartheid
There is a lingering divide between the reservation-based and so-called "meritorious students".

Let's face it: many of the upper caste students look at their classmates from SC/ST background as undeserving. This contempt, though never explicitly expressed, is often subtly felt by the students from SC/ST background, leading to worsen the existing inferiority complex and at times even inducing guilt trips for the sheer fact of being at the IITs.

Little or no counselling
In the face of such challenging academic and social experience, the need of consular and institutional support system assumes paramount importance.

Though formal set-up exists, in practice these counsellor support mechanisms have failed to reach out to and help students. They are pretty defunct and the essential connect is sorely lacking.


The culmination of all these factors is that many of the SC/ST students are left to struggle alone in a world very different from the one they have grown up in.

While many do succeed against these great odds and make it big, providing the inspirational narratives that are paraded as the success of the Indian story, but a few do call it quits.
Though small, the numbers are enough to get the alarm bells ringing.

Indian institute of tensions
During their preparation for the IITs, students end up succumbing to the exceedingly exalted expectations from these institutes. They are made to believe that after two years of gruelling homework if they make it to the IITs, which would be end of their struggle.

Many harbour great dreams about great adventures in the realm of science and technology. They also come with unrealistic expectations about the jobs they will secure (the oft-highlighted "two crore packages" create a false impression about those being the norm).

The actual experience inside the IITs, more often than not, fails to meet the sky-high expectations.


There is stiff academic competition which requires effort and some of those exhausted by their unceasing hard work to get into IITs are often unable to keep pace with the strenuous effort. As a result, it reflects in falling grades and piling backlogs.

There is also disappointment in store for many of those who come with romantic notions of technological adventures and wonder they may undertake at the IITs.

Also having been used to being toppers in school, it's hard for many to realise that they are now in a crowd of toppers, and the competition has gone up by many a notch.

Nevertheless, chronic depression results in many because of their inability to come to terms with this simple but bitter truth.

Great expectations
Besides, the students are equally bogged down by the burden of collective expectations. They are expected to be toppers always and secure the headline-making jobs. But once inside IITs, they discover to their utter horror that the headline-making jobs are exactly that: exceptions to the otherwise humdrum and fairly low key though well paying jobs even for which there's cut-throat competition.

Heartbreaks
Also, the college years have other sources of anxiety, such as romantic entanglements and eventual break-ups.
But the students at the IITs rarely get the sympathetic hearing of their equally difficult disappointments in matters of the heart. 
Thanks to the hype around the IITs, most are unwilling to believe that even IITians have their fair share of disappointments in love and are not always trying to be cookie-cutter techies engineering a brand new world.


Hype versus reality
Thus, some of these bright minds, who in reality end up clocking poor grades, high number of backlogs, low job prospects and the added burden of not living up to the high hopes everyone places on their shoulders, routinely fall prey to the temptation to end their miseries in one go.

They take their own lives as a last resort, as an escape route.

Addiction issues
There is also significant usage of drugs under peer pressure, often as a fashion statement and as a means to deal with academia-induced depression.

In some cases, students enter a downward spiral of using drugs to cope with depression leading them to perform poorly, deepening their anxieties and worsening the dependence on drugs. In a short time, this becomes a vicious cycle until some end up committing suicides or land in rehab centres.

Low confidence
As a society, Indians tend to look down on those who don't perform well. They face social disapproval and stigma in a way few other societies make their under performers suffer.
This again puts too much of premium on a narrow definition of success, which is scoring high in school and college examinations which basically test our ability to cram rather than innovate.


In the process, our collective mentality moves towards a collective punishment of sort, wherein our censure of those who haven't done relatively well in studies pushes them to take their own lives.

No systematic study on campus suicides
All these above discussed factors are merely observations that I made while pursuing my graduation at an IIT and the conversations I had with students from other IITs.

Unfortunately, there hasn't been a systematic and in-depth study done to properly understand why the brightest of Indian students too are driven to suicides.

This certainly reveals the apathy with which our authorities and institutions approach this serious issue.

It's high time a course correction is undertaken.

Perhaps a good place to begin would be to constitute a study of causes of all the suicides that have taken place on campus.

Moreover, we need to follow up the study with corrective measures that ensure India no longer continues to lose its future to utterly avoidable and extremely tragic student suicides.

Friday, July 15, 2016

IIT-Madras suicides: Here's a blog chronicling deaths in IITs and coaching schools - First Post

IIT-Madras suicides: Here's a blog chronicling deaths in IITs and coaching schools

FP Staff  Jul 14, 2016 12:25 IST

The race to get into an IIT or clearing an elite engineering college has long been proving to be fatal for students. The recent cases of suicide by IIT aspirants and even students reflect the despairing levels to which competition has reached.

Two women were found to have allegedly committed suicide on the IIT-Madras campus on Wednesday. Forty-seven-year-old Vijayalakshmi, the wife of a physics assistant professor was found hanging inside her quarters and P Maheshwari, a research scholar was found dead in her hostel room an hour later.
IIT-M had also witnessed the suicides of two students in September and October last year. Between 2008 and 2011, around 16 suicide cases were reported in IITs alone, according to a Tribune article.



Representational image. IBNlive

This deplorable state of students has only exacerbated in all these years and a blog started in 2011 keeps a track of all the suicide cases that have ever been reported in Kota, hub of IIT coaching centres or IITs.

The blog titled, ‘Suicides in IIT’s and IIT JEE coaching school plus dalit suicides’ contains newspaper articles about every student suicide that has ever taken place in Kota or an IIT.
The blog, run by Ram Krishnaswamy, a student of the 1970 batch of IIT-Madras has a list of all ‘IITians who committed suicide’ since 1981.

Apart from listing the names of the unfortunate students, Krishnaswamy also maintains a count of all suicides reported from various IIT campuses. This includes the suicide note written by 17-year-old Kriti Tripathi, in which she pleaded, Please, will the Government of India, HRD do something about these coaching institutes. They suck and should be shut down as soon as possible.”

A Mail Today article quotes Krishnaswamy as saying, “A lot of students have shared their problems with me on a personal level.”

In his book Reflections by IITians, he explains precisely why he started the blog: “The impact of examination pressures are so severe and traumatic that it is no wonder some young IIT students commit suicide. There is very little support for students who are unable to cope with such trauma.

Krishnaswamy’s main aim is to support students who might sink into depression from the pressure of academics. His featured posts on the blog include articles or websites that will hopefully prevent people from taking the extreme step.

He adds that some of the senior IIT alumni had formed a student support group called ‘Umang’ after news of suicides in IITs started cropping up.

From having sites like suicide.org to having inspirational stories of celebrities who turned “failure into success,” Krishnaswamy is trying to dissuade students from committing suicide.

Iit suicides blog also features a video by IIT-Bombay called Déjà vu. The movie is “dedicated to India’s most precious brand called IITians”. The Institute of Infinite Tension is how this video portrays an IIT to be.

You can watch the video here:



Some of the comments to the video read: "the story is not only iitian…this story of Indian ENGINEERS…out of 100% at least 20% engineering student will interconnect somehow…2 this story” or “so relatable” or “Hats off... !!! This movie has spotlessly spoken the words of most of the IITIANs not only in IITB but over all the IITs..." (sic).

Perhaps the government should take a cue from Tripathi’s note and the ever-increasing number of suicides in Kota and IITs.

Two suicides in IIT-Madras: Woman student and wife of professor found dead - First Post



FP Staff  Jul 14, 2016 08:13 IST

Wednesday was a black day for the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras after two women were found to have allegedly committed suicide on campus


According to a report in The Times of India, 47-year-old Vijayalakshmi, the wife of physics assistant professor Ganeshan, was found hanging inside her quarters around 3 pm. 

Around an hour or so later, a 34-year-old woman research scholar, P Maheshwari was found hanging in her hostel room, the police said, adding that the motive behind Maheshwari taking the extreme step was being probed.

Condoling the scholar's death, IIT-M announced full cooperation to officials in the case.

"IIT-Madras, reports with deep sadness the death of a post-doctoral research scholar in the campus. The scholar's family has been informed. The institute is taking necessary action and extending full cooperation to civil authorities," it said in a statement.

"The institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss," it said without divulging any further details.

Meanwhile, the Times of India report also note that mother-of-two Vijayalakshmi's friends had described her as seeming to be 'depressed and lonely'. After conducting a preliminary investigation, the police stated that she was worried about the health of her elder son and that "she had attempted suicide earlier".

IIT-M had witnessed suicide of two students in September and October last year.

With inputs from PTI

Two suicides in a day shock IIT Madras campus - New Indian Express

By Express News Service
Published: 13th July 2016 10:30 PM

Two women, a post-doctoral fellow and wife of a professor committed suicide in separate incidents inside the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-M) campus on Wednesday.

The victims were identified as P Maheshwari, a 34 year old student and G Vijayalakshmi (47), wife of an Assistant Professor (Physics) there.
According to the police, even as the staff and students could come to terms with the suicide of Vijayalakshmi, who was first spotted hanging, news of another student committing suicide broke out. Vijayalakshmi's husband Ganesan is an Assistant Professor of Physics and the family resided at Warden quarters inside the campus, police said.
Maheshwari, who was staying at room number 814 of Sabarmathi hostel was pursuing a post doctoral fellowship course in Chemistry and was found hanging in her room around 5 pm by her hostel mates, police said. A married woman, Maheshwari is a native of Puducherry and has a six year old son.
Police sources cited 'family issues' as the reason for both the suicides. Kotturpuram Police registered a case of suspicious death under section 174 of CrPC. The bodies were moved to the Government Royapettah Hospital for autopsy.

Meanwhile, in a statement, IIT Madras expressed deep sadness over the death of a post-doctoral research scholar in the campus. "The scholar’s family has been informed. The Institute is taking necessary action and is extending full cooperation to the civil authorities," the statement read, adding "The Institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss."

Two women commit suicide in a day inside IIT Madras campus - Indian Express


More details awaited.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 14, 2016 10:51 am


Two women committed suicide inside IIT Madras campus on Thursday, according to reports in NDTV. One was a researcher and the other was wife of a professor.

According to police, the body of the research scholar was found hanging in her hostel room. Investigation is underway to find out the reason behind her death. Details of the second death is not yet available.

On Wednesday, IIT Madras released a statement: “IIT Madras reports with deep sadness the death of a post-doctoral research scholar in the campus. The scholar’s family has been informed. The institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss.”

More details awaited.
© The Indian Express Online Media Pvt Ltd

Two suicides in IIT-Madras: Woman student, teacher's wife found hanging - TNN



TNN | Jul 14, 2016, 02.13 AM IST

HIGHLIGHTS
  • IIT-Madras campus was shaken on Wednesday by the news of two suicides within a span of an hour
  • First one was an assistant professor's wife and the 2nd a post-doctoral research scholar
  • Both committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling
Chennai: The IIT-Madras campus was shaken on Wednesday evening by the news of two suicides within a span of an hour, in unrelated incidents. The first one was an assistant professor's wife. the second a post-doctoral research scholar.

Police said physics assistant professor Ganeshan's wife Vijayalakshmi, 47, was found hanging inside her quarters around 3pm. An hour later, P Maheshwari, 34, a post-doctoral research scholar was found dead hanging in Sabarmathi hostel. 

Maheswari's friends, after searching for her for a while, peeped into the hostel room and found her hanging from the ceiling. IIT officials informed the Kotturpuram police who reached the hostel and lowered the body. Police said there was no suicide note, and the reason was not known immediately. Police, after conducting inquiries with her friends, said she was upset that her husband Pandiarajan was not visiting her in the hostel. "Her friends said she appeared to be depressed and lonely," a policeman said.

The campus was already discussing another suicide, that of Vijayalakshmi, a native of Trichy. She too was found hanging. The couple had two children. After making inquiries, police said the assistant professor's wife was worried about the health condition of her elder son. "We are told that she had attempted suicide earlier," a policeman said. The incident came to light when her husband came home in the evening.

Both the bodies have been sent for postmortem at Government Royapettah Hospital. Kotturpuram police have registered cases under CrPc 174 (unnatural death) and are investigating.

Top Comment
Time and again these suicidal deaths prove that Education gives nothing and if literates also do the same thing instead of sharing their personal grievances or problems faced by them to the near and dear who might have given suggestions and counseling and now because of their act the families are the sufferers.
Sankaran Krishnan

Meanwhile in a press statement the IIT Madras that the institute is deeply saddened by the death of a post-doctoral research scholar in the campus. The scholar's family has been informed.The institute is taking necessary action and is extending full cooperation to the civil authorities.

"The institute extends its deep felt condolences to the family and the near and dear ones of the scholar for the unfortunate, untimely and devastating loss," the statement said.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Two more students commit suicide in Kota - Tribune India

Posted at: Jul 6, 2016, 6:50 PM; last updated: Jul 6, 2016, 8:23 PM (IST)


          Photo for representation purpose. Thinkstock
Our Correspondent
Kota, July 6

One AIPMT coaching student and another school boy allegedly committed suicide in two separate incidents in Kota’s Kunhadi Thana area on Tuesday.

(Follow The Tribune on Facebook and Twitter @thetribunechd)

Nineteen-year-old Nikhil Nayan Kumar of Bhagalpur, who was taking AIPMT classes and residing in a hostel of Allen coaching Institute, was found hanging in the bathroom of his hostel on Tuesday night. The reason of his suicide was yet to be ascertained. The body has been kept in a mortuary and his parents have been called from Bihar, the police said.


In another incident, a local class 10 student, Lekhraj, ended his life on the rail tracks. He was missing from home since July 4 and was found dead on Tuesday evening. 

Kota has been in the news many times in the past for students’ suicides. In May this year a 17-year-old in her suicide note had urged the government to shut down coaching institutes in Kota.

She had jumped to her death from the fifth floor of her residence here, despite having cracked the IIT-JEE mains.

In a line from her note, she said the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry should shut down the coaching institutes, complaining that studies in these centres subjected the students to unbearable stress and depression.

Kota claims another victim: Engineering student commits suicide - First Post



FP Staff  Jul 6, 2016 17:12 IST

An engineering student in Kota committed suicide late Tuesday night, by jumping from his hostel building, reported News18

The student, identified only as Nikhil, hailed from Bhagalpur in Bihar. He was a student at Allen institute.

This is not the first time a student has committed suicide in Kota, the hub of coaching institutes who train youngsters for IIT and medical examinations.

According to NDTV, in May, 17-year-old Keshav Meena, hanged himself after studying for three years and appearing for his medical entrance exam. In the same month, a BTech final year student committed suicide by ingesting poison.

    Representational image. Reuters

Nirmal Yogi, a 17-year-old IIT aspirant, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan using a towel in his rented room in Mahaveer Nagar area.

On 28 April, Kirti, a 17-year-old student who had been studying for the IIT-JEE exams for the past two years in Kota, jumped to her death from the fifth floor of her residence. She wrote in her four-page long suicide note that coaching institutes should be shut down by the government, adding that she wanted to join NASA as a scientist and was not interested in engineering, despite scoring 144 in IIT-JEE mains.

The rising number of suicides has drawn the attention of Rajasthan officials. NDTV reported that Collector Ravi Kumar Surpur wrote a letter addressed to the parents of all students enrolled in coaching classes in Kota to "not to force their expectations and dreams on their children".

Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh had recently said a body should be formed to regulate coaching institutes. "The body should also decide the admission procedure to these institutes and direct them to reduce the pressure on students," he had said.

With inputs from PTI

Next door to Kota, IIT dreams don’t end in suicide - Asian Age

Next door to Kota, IIT dreams don’t end in suicide

Students at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Bundi.

The announcement of IIT JEE (Advanced) results is usually accompanied by many rah-rahs of self-congratulation from the big boys of Kota’s coaching industry.

Parents, mostly poor and middle class, buy the dream of having their child qualify for the IITs through such a tortuous path of study at an unbearable monetary cost — and sometimes, even at the cost of a human life. They have perhaps not heard of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV), a completely free co-educational residential school, established for underprivileged children, and producing IITians with a success rate unmatched by Kota’s money-minting coaching factories.

Barely 30 km from Kota, JNV Bundi’s has sent 205 students to the IITs, its success rate being an astonishing 90 per cent. Read the score line: 47, 50 and 40 out of 50, 55 and 49 in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

What makes the success of JNV Bundi so special is that it comes at literally no cost. Parents do not have to spend a single penny on either school fees or IIT coaching; even boarding and lodging are free.

“My father was not in a position to even afford my school fees,” says Mayank Chittora, who was the best performer with an all India ranking of 952.

“There is no parental expectation or pressure to excel because literally everything is free here. Also, there is no pressure or obligation on students to opt for IIT; it is their wish and will. We do well when there is no pressure,” explained Mathew Thomas, deputy commissioner of Navodaya Vikas Samiti, Jaipur region.
Not surprisingly, there has not been a single suicide in the last seven years since JNV Bundi started preparing its students for the IIT entrance exam. There were 15 student suicides last year and eight in the first half of this year in Kota.
“There are no separate or special classes for students appearing for IIT JEE. After regular classes, students have their own study schedule,” says G. Suryanarayanan, principal of JNV Bundi. Although he thinks that being a residential school allows students to be more focused and dedicated towards studies while teachers are also able to better monitor and work on them.

The school also pays attention to physical activities, unlike Kota, where the district collector had to issue instructions to coaching institutes to provide students time for relaxation and organise fun activities. There is a playground and facilities for indoor games, like table tennis. The day begins with physical training.
Such a salutary atmosphere notwithstanding, the IIT success would not have been possible without Dakshana, a non-profit organisation, founded by NRI Mr Mohnish Pabrai and his spouse, Ms Harina Kapoor. Their help enabled the launch in 2007 of a Navodaya Dakshana JEE Scholarship programme — inspired by Anand’s Super 30, a programme that originated in Patna to help meritorious and underprivileged students — to prepare JNV students for IIT. Since then 1351 students out of 2457 have qualified for admission into the IITs. The target is 2020 in 2020 i.e 2020 students from the JNV system going to India’s premier tech schools by 2020.

Getting into JNV itself is not easy. Last year nearly 19 lakh candidates sat for the entrance for 40,000-odd seats. JNV students who wish to sit for IIT JEE also have to go through a test after Class 10.