Published: 29th August 2023
Kota coaching institutes to implement measures to curb rising suicide cases
Measures include: 'half-day study, half-day fun', identifying students with suicidal tendencies and uploading online motivational sessions by experts
With the rise in student suicide cases, Kota's coaching institutes intend to follow a few measures to curb the cases. These include, 'Half-day study, half-day fun' on one weekday, identification of students with suicidal tendencies and psychological counselling are among the decisions taken in a meeting on August 28 chaired by the Principal Secretary (Higher and Technical Education) Bhawani Singh Detha through video conference, officials said. This meeting was attended by representatives of coaching institutes and hostel associations, they added.
Detha is also the chairman of a committee formed on the direction of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to look into the issue. The committee will visit Kota on September 2 to take stock of the situation. Among the other decisions taken in the meeting, coaching institutes have been asked to form a committee of subject experts in an attempt to reduce the burden of courses on students.
Outcomes of the meet
It was decided in the meeting that the coaching institutes will hold 'half-day study, half-day fun' every Wednesday and they will not conduct any routine tests for the next two days, the officials said. A form will be developed for coaching students to fill in every day so that their mental status can be assessed.
Additionally, absentees from the routine tests and poor performers will be identified and they will be provided psychological counselling, the officials added. The meeting was held a day after two NEET aspirants died by suicide on Sunday, August 27.
The other officials who attended the meeting included Kota Collector OP Bunkar, SP Sharad Chaudhary, Additional Collector (Administration) Rajkumar Singh, and Additional SP Bhagwat Singh Hingad, as stated in a report by PTI.
After the meeting, speaking on this to the media, Kota District Collector Bunkar said "It is an alarming situation as so many students are committing suicides."
The preliminary meeting was held to discuss short and long-term measures to check the rising suicide cases, he added. Also, giving more details of the meeting, he said that the decision on immediate and long-term measures taken in the meeting to check suicide cases would help release the stress of the students and create a favourable environment.
Police station to be a rescue?
Kota City SP Choudhary proposed to set up an exclusive police station for students. "As an expansion of students' police help desk already functional, I gave the idea of setting up a police station for students in Kota to address their concerns," Chaudhary said. The draft proposal for an exclusive students' police station would be sent to the state government for sanction in the next few days, the SP (City) added.
On August 18, CM Gehlot held a meeting of all the stakeholders and directed them to form the committee headed by Detha which will submit its report within 15 days. About two students, preparing for competitive exams in Kota, allegedly died by suicide on Sunday, August 27, in a span of four hours.
According to authorities, 22 students have ended their lives so far in 2023 which amounts to being the highest for any year. Last year, the figure was 15, as stated in a report by PTI.
More than two lakh students move to Kota, a coaching hub, annually to prepare for competitive exams such as the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for admission to engineering institutes and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical colleges.