Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is the most prestigious institute for engineering aspirants in
the country and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is much sough-after by those
who want to pursue medicine. Lakhs of students take up the entrance exams for these institutes
each year, competing for a few thousand seats. Needless to say, most students fail to get a seat
at these institutions. Many students who fail in the first attempt, drop out for a year and try to
make it the second time. There are several ‘education hubs’ in the country that prepare students
for these highly competitive entrance exams and Kota, in Rajasthan is one such education hub
that attracts a large population of students each year.
What and How
Over the last few years, Kota has been reporting several incidents of students committing
suicide. This year alone, 14 students have committed suicide at Kota. The number was 21 last
year. Many experts have claimed that the main reason for the students committing suicide is the
enormous stress forced upon by the training institutes. They are trained in various topics for the
majority part of the day. Students do not get sufficient time for leisure activities.
The district administration had directed the coaching centers to have a psychologist on their
premises to counsel the students, Kota still does not have a completely equipped counseling
Ravikumar Surpur, District Collector said that the government doesn’t have any plans to open
its own counseling facility but, the district administration had directed all coaching centers to
appoint psychologists to provide counseling for all students and parents at the time of
admission. He also said that the district administration was monitoring the current situation and
local organizations were conducting counseling sessions and operating helplines.
Dr. M L Agarwal said that the stress levels are so immense that over 26 students who consulted
with him were on the verge of committing suicide. He had to counsel them thoroughly to change
their mind. He has counseled over 540 students and their parents through his helpline ‘Hope’.
According to him the main reason for students committing suicide is studies and in some cases
homesickness, and relationships also play a role.
Under the Right to Information Act (RTI), Chandrashekhar Gaur from Madhya Pradesh was able
to seek all the service tax information of various coaching centers. According to the report, a
otal sum of Rs. 167.79 crore was collected from all the centers in 2015. Till June 2016 close to
Rs. 87.59 crores were collected. He is of the opinion that the government set up counselling
centres to aid the situation.