Gopal Babu, a student of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), committed suicide by hanging himself inside his hostel room on Monday, January, 28. Gopal, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh, was a student of MTech first year.
The police told PTI that the college authorities informed them about the incident after finding Gopal's body inside his room in Brahmaputra hostel. This is the second such incident of suicide at the premier institute of the country in a month.
On January 1, a 25-year-old PhD scholar, Ranjana Kumari from Jharkhand, had also committed suicide by hanging herself inside her hostel room.
Ranjana was studying metallurgy and metals engineering at IIT-M. The hostel authorities spotted her body after her parents enquired about her when she didn't pick up her phone.
The police later initiated an investigation as the immediate cause of the suicide couldn't be known,
In September 2018, the IIT-M had reported another student suicide when a 23-year-old student from Kerala, Shahal Kormath, was found hanging inside her hostel room.
The police later found out that Shahal, who was studying oceanography at IIT-M, feared that she may not be able to appear in her exams due to the attendance shortage which led her to take the extreme step.
Why are students at premier Indian institutes of India committing suicides?
The incidents of student suicides were also reported from IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Guwahati last year.
The alarming increase in the suicide cases has led to the IIT council set up a task force which helps address the problem. The task force has also slammed the media for glorifying the IITs which puts the students there under a lot of stress. It noted that the students should also enjoy a certain level of freedom without a barrage of responsibilities.
An IIT-Kanpur committee constituted to look into the matter noted that the single room occupancy hostel rooms should be done away with and that students should share rooms. The IITs should also remove ceiling fans from hostel rooms and use pedestal fans.
Ironically, there have been little to no measures taken to address the psychological health issues that the students may be facing which forces them to take their lives in the first place.