IIT-K report cites personal reasons for student suicides



Kanpur: All reports submitted by the committees constituted by IIT-Kanpur to determine the reasons that led eight of its students to commit suicide in the last five years have cited "personal reasons" as the cause.

Details of what the personal reasons are have, however, not been divulged by the authorities who maintain that they are not of the nature that can be disclosed to the media.

A Fact Finding Report into the death of BTech student in civil engineering Madhuri Sale submitted yesterday states that her suicide on November 17 last year was because of "reasons which were entirely personal."

Sources in the institution said that Sale was in love with one of her classmates and disappointment in the relationship may have led her to take the extreme step, a claim that IIT authorities have not commented upon. IIT officials have said that her "file has been closed" as a report has been submitted.

An RTI application by a PTI journalist revealed that in the years from 2005 to 2010, two girl students and six boy students had committed suicide at the institute.

In the five years, five students committed suicide in their hostel rooms by hanging from ceiling fans, one jumped from the roof of the faculty building in the campus, another jumped in front of a moving train and a third consumed poison.

The reports investigating the causes for all eight suicides have cited personal reasons.

The Fact Finding Committees constituted have also made suggestions to help prevent students from committing suicides, some of which are already in place at the institution.

Recommendations made by the report on Sale's suicide include more interaction among students to share their problems, strengthening of the counselling cell, appointment of counsellors in hostels and separate women counsellor for girl students and a counsellor for boy students as well.

"Most of the steps suggested by the Fact Finding Committees to stop the tendency of suicide among students are already present in the institution," IIT-K Registrar Sanjeev Kashalkar told PTI, adding that the institution has separate counsellors for boy and girl students.

However, the committee's suggestion for more interaction among the students is different and will be looked into, he said.

The Fact Finding Committees set up after student suicides in the institution have been headed by senior professors who sent the report to administration officials after which efforts are made to stop such incidences from recurring.

PTI