A total of 122 students of IITs, IIMs, central universities and other centrally funded higher educational institutions committed suicide during 2014-21, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
In written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that of the 122 students who committed suicide, 24 belonged to Scheduled Caste (SC), 41 to Other Backward Classes (OBC), three to Scheduled Tribe (ST). Three such students were from Minority category.
According to data shared by the minister, 121 incidents of suicides by the students of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), central universities and other higher educational institutions were reported during the period.
The number of suicide incidents by students of various IITs during the period was 34, while four students from different IIMs had committed suicide.
Nine students from IISc Bangalore and Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) had committed suicide during 2014-21, while four such students were from Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs).
The highest number of student suicides were from central universities (37), followed by National Institutes of Technology (NITs) which reported 30 incidents of student suicides.
The government and University Grants Commission (UGC) have taken several initiatives to check the incidents of harassment and discrimination of students. UGC (Redressal of Grievances of Students) Regulations, 2019 have been formulated to safeguard the interests of the students. Further, the ministry has undertaken various steps such as peer assisted learning, introduction of technical education in regional languages for students in order to ease the academic stress, Pradhan said.
"The government initiative, named MANODARPAN, covers a wide range of activities to provide psychological support to students, teachers and families for mental and emotional wellbeing during the Covid outbreak and beyond. In addition, institutions conduct workshops/seminars on happiness and wellness, regular sessions on yoga, induction programmes, extracurricular activities including sports and cultural activities and appointment of student counsellors for overall personality development and de-stressing students.
"Further, students, wardens and caretakers are sensitised to bring to notice the signs of depression in fellow students to the authorities so that timely clinical consultation may be provided, he added.