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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why Continuing Drop-Outs At IITs And IIMs Should Deeply Worry India - Huffington Post

"The drop-outs are continuing warning signs of a deeper decay."

22/08/2016 11:46 AM IST | Updated August 22, 2016 12:17

INDIA TODAY GROUP/GETTY IMAGES


IITs and IIMs are the most difficult educational institutions in India to get in, but over the last few years it turns out that they are also quite easy to leave.

Last year, the then Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani had said that about 2000 students had left the IITs without completing their courses between 2012 and 2015; on Sunday, The Times of India reported that the trend continued during 2014-2016 too.

The only difference this time is that the IIMs too have been added to the list. Reportedly about 2000 students in IITs and IIMs didn't finish their courses during 2014-16.

Some of the numbers may have overlapped because of the overlapping years, however, the critical point is that IITs, which have the highest entry-barriers for engineering education in the country, are unable to retain all the students that they admit because all of the latter are not able to cope with the academic rigour expected of them. The situation, although at a lower scale because the overall numbers are lower, is similar with the IIMs too.

So, it's time to raise the all-important question once again - why does this happen, particularly when IITs and IIMs are India's best gateways to highly rewarding professional careers?

The IITs or the HRD ministry is yet to come out with disaggregated data on the drop-outs; but, past evidence points to the most obvious: students are unable to cope with the demands of education in these institutions. There are two obvious reasons - one, not all the students who crack the joint entrance examinations are good enough to study in these institutions; and two, those who gain entry through reservations find the standards too high to cope with.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Another IIT aspirant attempts suicide in Kota - TNN


TNN | Aug 18, 2016, 09.05 AM IST

JAIPUR: An IIT aspirant in Kota attempted suicide by drinking phenyl on Tuesday late night at his rented room at Vigyan Nagar.

Police said a student from Madhya Pradesh came to Kota four months ago with a dream of securing a seat in IITs.

"He scored poor marks in the monthly test and was in depression. He drank a cup of phenyl. After sometime when he started vomiting his neighbours sensed trouble and report to the hostel owner. He was rushed to the hospital where he was declared out of danger, said police.

His family was informed who reached in the afternoon. Till the last report came, he was stable. Doctors said phenyl had not created much damage to his body due to timely report to hospital. Police has recorded the statement of the student in the hospital.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Seeking justice: Dead IIT-K student's family lodges FIR - TNN

Seeking justice: Dead IIT-K student's family lodges FIR
TNN | Aug 10, 2016, 05.47 AM IST

Kanpur: A day after the death of a PhD student of IIT-Kanpur at its Health Centre, his family filed an FIR with the local police accusing the centre staff, including the doctor who treated him, of negligence leading to death. After a postmortem, the police handed over the body to the family members who took it to their native place in Ghazipur district. 

The aggrieved family, which arrived at the insititute on Monday night, registered the FIR at Kalyanpur police station on Tuesday afternoon. Dr Shailendra Kishore of the centre was named in the FIR registered under section 304 of IPC (Punishment for culpable suicide not amounting to murder).

The FIR also made a mention of IIT-K health centre administration, warden in charge, besides a student guide under whom the student was pursuing PhD course without naming them.

"The FIR has been lodged on the basis of a complaint by Adarsh Kumar Pandey, elder brother of the deceased. Dr Shailendra Kishore has been accused of negligence while treating Atul Pandey, causing his death," said a police officer. Atul Kumar Pandey, who was in the sixth year of his PHD course, had died on Monday afternoon soon after reaching the health centre. He had gone to the centre complaining of pain in the shoulder for which he was administered medicine. Students alleged that he died soon after.

Following this, his fellow students had staged a protest on Monday which continued throughout Tuesday. Enraged over the death of their colleague, scores of IIT-Kanpur students assembled at the main gate of the institute and blocked the movement of the vehicles completely for over three hours.

SHO Kalyanpur Rajdeep Prajapati said, "Adarsh, brother of the deceased Atul, has charged the centre staff of not arranging stretcher for taking him to the ECG room in the health centre and instead made him walk down. Adarsh also mentioned in his complaint that the health centre of IIT-Kanpur had referred Atul to the cardiology hospital near Gol Chauraha without any doctor accompanying him."



Student’s death sparks protests at IIT Kanpur - The Hindu

NEW DELHI, August 9, 2016


Student’s death sparks protests at IIT Kanpur

Special Arrangement
Students stage a protest following the death of Ph.D. student Alok Kumar Pandey, at the IIT-Kanpur campus on Tuesday.

Students stage a protest following the death of Ph.D. student Alok Kumar Pandey, at the IIT-Kanpur campus on Tuesday.

Protests have erupted at IIT-Kanpur campus following the death of a Ph.D. student on Monday, which the students allege was a result of negligence on the part of the Institute's Health Centre (HC).

Alok Kumar Pandey, 33, a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science Programme, had gone to the HC following a shoulder pain on Monday afternoon. An email sent to students by the president of IIT-Kanpur Students’ Gymkhana, states that Mr. Pandey’s health reportedly started deteriorating within 10 minutes of his visit to the HC. As per the email, a copy of which is with The Hindu, Mr. Pandey’s friend claims that the patient was fine until an injection was administered, which resulted in “massive abnormalities”. Mr. Pandey was later referred to the Cardiology Specialty Institute in Kanpur city, where he was declared “brought dead”.

More than 500 students are protesting on the campus, asking the Institute to accept four demands without any negotiations. 

First, an FIR should be lodged by the Institute demanding an investigation of the matter. Second, immediate suspension or dismissal of the doctor, who diagnosed the patient, until proved innocent. Third, the institute should bear the financial expenditure incurred by Mr. Pandey's family in this case. Fourth, an open and transparent review of the staff, administration and the facilities of the HC be conducted.

Dr. Mamta Vyas, Chief Medical Officer of the Institute’s Health Centre, told IIT-Kanpur’s student newspaper Vox Populi that the Health Centre followed the exact protocol which the situation demanded. While she is extremely saddened by the tragic incident, the allegations levelled against the HC are not appropriate, Vox Populi reported.

This is not the first time when HC has been at the centre of controversy. Last October, Mr. Aftab Alam, Computer Engineer at Institute’s Computer Centre, lost his life at the HC, and a “sudden heart stroke” was mentioned as the reason. However, the relatives of Mr. Alam had alleged that he was merely facing uneasiness in the chest, but his condition deteriorated due to mishandling of the case by an inexperienced young doctor at IIT-Kanpur's HC.


The Institute’s administration has called for an emergency meeting of the Institute Advisory Committee (IAC) to discuss the matter.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

IITs had 656 dropouts, 49 dropouts from IIMs in 2015-16, says government - INDIAN EXPRESS


The number of drop outs from IITs and IIMs has come down due to proactive measures taken by these institutions.

As many as 656 students dropped out of IITs in the 2015-16 academic year, highest being from IIT Delhi, while 49 students left IIMs, the government said today.By: PTI | New Delhi | 

Updated: August 9, 2016 4:41 pm
IIT Delhi saw 256 students dropping out, followed by IIT Kharagpur which had 198 such cases, IIT Kanpur – 47, IIT Madras – 35, IIT Mumbai – 34 and IIT Patna – 22, as per the data provided by Minister of State for HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Ten students left IIM Rohtak, nine IIM Indore, eight IIM Raipur and seven IIM Kozhikhode. IIM Bangalore had four such cases, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow three each, IIM Calcutta and IIM Shillong two each, while IIM Trichy had one.

Pandey said the number of drop outs from IITs and IIMs has come down due to proactive measures taken by these institutions. As per the data, 1,126 students had dropped out of 16 IITs, while 55 had dropped out of 13 IIMs in 2014-15.

In response to a separate question, the minister had informed the Lok Sabha that the number of PhD enrollment for the year 2014-15 was 27,001, a significant increase from 10,497 PhD enrollments as on March 31, 2005. He also said that the number of PhD degrees awarded in Indian universities in the academic year 2014-15 was 27,327.

He also said that five suicides have been reported from IITs and IIMs during the last three years.


Recently, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar had announced the setting up of six new IITs across the country. He inaugurated IIT Chhattisharg, IIT Jammu and IIT Goa recently.

IIT Kanpur scholar dies, students protest - BUSINESS STANDARD

Press Trust of India  |  Kanpur 

August 8, 2016 Last Updated at 23:57 IST

A 26-year-old research scholar of IIT Kanpur today died of cardiac arrest, a college official said, even as students protested, alleging that he was given an injection at the institution's health centre which caused his death.

Alok Kumar Pandey, a PhD student of Material Science Programme, stayed in hostel number four, Dean of IIT Kanpur (Student Affairs) A R Harish said.

This afternoon, Pandey complained of severe chest and neck pain after which he was rushed to the health centre of the institution from where he was referred to a heart institute. He, however, died on way to the hospital. 

After the news of Pandey's death spread, students of his hostel protested, alleging that he was given an injection at the institution's health centre which caused his death. 

When asked about the students' allegation, Harish said he has no knowledge about any such allegation but as per the initial information, Pandey died of heart attack. 

The Dean said the family members of the deceased have been informed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A curse for humanity - Daily Excelsior


Posted on 7/08/2016 by Dailyexcelsior

Prof. K.G. Gupta

Literal meaning of suicide is intentional slaughtering or murder of ones’ own self.

Reason for suicide could be an impulse caused due to a short tempered altercation in the family or it could be the result of a long drawn, phase of depression. In former case there is usually no planning and decision to commit suicide is abrupt. In the later case the decision to take this extreme step is arrived at after considerable negative thinking. In case of an impulsive attempted suicide, the tragedy could be averted if some well-wisher intervenes and consoles the person to desist from taking such a drastic step. Once the impulse induced due to any reason is pacified, the person will start behaving like a normal person. But in most of such cases, the friends and family members do not get a clue as to what is going on in the mind of the person.

But in case of a person suffering from depression, the process of thinking dips to such a low level that for him, there could be no reversal of his negativity. The person arrives at a decision to kill ones’ own self. For him the world is not a good place to live in. The person develops a feeling of suffering, hopelessness and helplessness. One feels that there is no escape from ones’ sufferings. He thinks that the world shall be a better place for others to live without him. Those who are left behind would lead a better life, once he is gone. The person does not necessarily want to die, rather he does not want to live because for him, life is a burden.

Whatever may be the cause for killing one’s own self, suicide is a devastating step which gives a jolt to the family members, parents, spouse, siblings, children, friends, neighbours and every person known to the deceased. The shock is intense with a sense of guilt, anger and regret, as to why they could not visualize the coming shock event. Why they could not for forsee the forthcoming tragedy and try to avert it.

Suicides are taking a huge toll of human life. The trend is increasing with a rapid rate world over. In United States approximately 35000 lives are lost per annum. In India the number is much higher due to a large population and diverse socio economic problems.

There could be numerous reasons in the life of a person which may be responsible for creating a sudden impulse reaction or depression which may lead one to commit suicide. Some of the reasons could be analysed here under.

Family Disputes:  Some times a minor cause becomes the reason for altercation between members of a family which explodes into a hysterical situation. The person who is cornered does not find any escape route and finally decides to end one’s own life.

Matrimonial Problems:  When parents do not allow their children to marry a partner of their choice, one are both the children involved may take the drastic step. Also when one of the loving partners feels ditched or cheated by the other he/she may take the extreme step.  Though better counselling by friends or family members could prevent it.

Women working in hostile environment, when harassed beyond all limit get compelled to end their lives. Women have to become bold and strong to face such situations.

Kissan Suicide:  Farmers have always suffered the tyranny of land lords and the tyrannies of nature. They work hard in the field but when they do not get enough reward, even to eke out a living, they get frustrated and decide to end their lives. Today there are no land lords but the farmer is lured towards easily available bank loans. But they are unable to repay these loans and pressure from bankers  as also the failure of crops due to drought and floods drives these poor hapless farmers towards ending their lives. Recent steps taken by the present Government like crop insurance, Jan Dhan Yojna and minimum crop value may help the farmers to ease out this terrible situation.

Students Suicide: This is comparatively a recent phenomenon. There is tremendous pressure on the young boys and girls from parents, from educational institutions and coaching centers to score higher and higher grades/ranks. An unhealthy competition develops among the admission aspirants of Engineering and Medical colleges to work hard to such an extent that it shatters their normal thinking process. When they are unable to achieve the goals set for them, they get depressed  and resort to suicide  due to fear of ridicule  from parents.

Kota Suicides: Kota, a famous town in Rajasthan got prominence as a city of coaching centers. About 1,50,000 students from different parts of India are  presently studying in Kota, preparing for various engineering and medical institutions of repute. These students are sent to live outside family environment at a very tender age after matriculation where they are subjected to rigorous coaching and intensive studies. 

They are compelled to work continuously for 18 to 20 hours in a day. Some of them definitely shine out but others become drug addicts and unable to cope with their studies, are compelled to commit suicide.  Kota is fast growing famous as city of suicides.
The collector of Kota in an open letter to students studying in various coaching institutions advised them to spare at least one day in a week for recreational activities and to enjoy the beauties of nature.  He further advised them to become ready for the Universe and not for University. 

Just, less than two months ago a girl student studying in a coaching center in Kota committed suicide because she could not bear the burden of coaching for IIT/JEE examination. In her suicide note she appealed to the Government to close down all those coaching centers. She even appealed to her parents not to treat her younger brother, the same way, she had been treated.

Parents ought to learn that lives of their sons and daughters are more precious than the degrees from IITs and IIMs.

Another disturbing case of suicide is in the armed forces. The people in uniform have to spend a tough life in extremely difficult situation on borders and in terror infested areas. They are kept away from their homes for very long durations. The Officers in these forces remain insensitive and indifferent and soldiers are not allowed to visit their homes for years together. 

This leads to home sickness and depression.  Soldiers either shoot their officers or their own self. Suicide by people in uniform can be easily avoided if the officers develop a sympathetic and sensitive attitude towards their subordinate.

Some times a person may have some genetic disorder due to which one is tempted to commit suicide time and again.  Robert Clive the British Governor General in India attempted suicide a number of times but survived. He used to say “perhaps God is keeping me alive to do great jobs” 

But ultimately he committed suicide on 2nd November 1774, after a long period of trial against him by British Government.
Last year, this time around a polytechnic student from Srinagar, committed suicide  by jumping into river Jehlum  because he got a Reappear  in Physics paper of 2nd Semester diploma examination  conducted by J&K Board of Technical  Education.  

He was a brilliant student but could not withstand the pressure of failure, perhaps due to severe reprimand from his parents. He had the option to go in for revaluation and he did apply for that but did not wait for the result. Instead he took the unfortunate step. Perhaps a little bit of counseling by parents and friends could have saved the life of this young man. Parents and teachers owe a special responsibility in such cases.
Another typical suicide was committed by a student Mohit Aggarwal of Manipal Institute of Technology on 15th of March 2016. He took a poisonous substance, a rope, a blade, a bottle of kerosene oil and a match box, entered a bathroom in hostel and bolted from inside. After some time he sprinkled kerosene oil and set himself afire. There was huge uproar in the institution but later the situation was pacified when a suicide note was found in which the student had written that he was trying to find the least painful method for committing suicide. This is purely a case of deranged personality.
A suicide is always a tragedy, a matter of shock, gloom and devastation. It is a curse for the person involved, a curse for those who are left behind, a curse for the family and friends and a curse for society. As such a suicide cannot be a matter for glorification. It cannot be reason for tragedy tourism. Society and nation should take steps in which a person does not drift towards ending his precious life. No religion or society permits self killing because it is a sin and a crime against society, against humanity and also against the will of Almighty.

(The author is presently working as Principal IECS Polytechnic, Purkhoo Camp, Jammu)
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