Published: 18th February 2019
Is failure in exams a major cause for suicides in India?
As many as 8,068, 8,934 and 9,747 suicides were committed worldwide just due to failure in examinations during 2014-2016. How bad is it in India? Here's what we found
Suicide is an ever-increasing phenomenon, especially in recent years. Every year, 1 million adults report a suicide attempt, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, 800,000 people die by suicide every year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Almost 26,500 students in India alone committed suicide between 2014 and 2016, according to data recorded by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In the span of just three years, 2,403 (2014), 2,646 (2015) and 2,413 (2016) students in India killed themselves. And if you ask what the major reason for this is, you will be surprised to hear the answer. Failure in exams. And it accounts for almost one-fourth of suicides each year. Now, that's way more than those who had been driven to suicide because of extra-marital affairs (785), cancer (827), divorce (391) and AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases (190). Of these, 1,511 of them were males.
Tips to avoid stress:
- Breathe easy: Pausing and breathing at regular intervals helps bust stress easily
- Snooze now: Power naps help one zone out and come back refreshed
- Listen hard: Music can be therapeutic. Keep those headphones close by
To comfort students, the Indian government has started counselling centres at many IIT premises around the country. However, such remedial measures have only been taken up by premier institutes of the country and other universities in smaller cities and towns are still much behind in addressing the mental health problem. There are several reasons as to how failure in examinations amounts to suicides in the country. It includes parental pressure and expectations, as well as largely unaddressed mental health issues.
The American magazine Wired published a report titled: 'In India, high-pressure exams are creating a student suicide crisis' on student suicides in Kota, Rajasthan in 2018. "Unless emergency initiatives are complemented by a full suite of mental health interventions and large-scale government initiatives, they have limited effectiveness," the report said.