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Student Suicides

Recent news has brought to light a deeply concerning issue plaguing the education system – student suicides. A recent reply to an RTI query by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has shed light on the distressing prevalence of student suicides in the past few years. The statistics reveal a grim reality that demands urgent attention.

This topic of “Student Suicides” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Highlights: The Stark Numbers

The UGC’s RTI reply has revealed shocking numbers regarding student suicides, particularly those attributed to ragging. Over the past 5.5 years, there have been 25 reported suicides due to ragging. These numbers paint a distressing picture of the mental health challenges students are facing within the educational environment.

Statewise Reports

The suicides are not limited to any particular region, as evidenced by statewise reports:

  • Maharashtra: 4 deaths
  • Tamil Nadu: 4 deaths
  • Odisha: 3 deaths
  • Andhra Pradesh: 2 deaths
  • Rajasthan: 2 deaths
  • Uttar Pradesh: 2 deaths
  • Telangana: 2 deaths
  • Chhattisgarh: 1 death
  • Himachal Pradesh: 1 death
  • Gujarat: 1 death
  • Madhya Pradesh: 1 death
  • West Bengal: 1 death
  • Punjab: 1 death

Specific Institution Reports

Numerous institutions across India have been affected by this troubling trend:

  • Chennai:
    • IIT-Madras: 2 suicides
    • Jayagovind Harigopal Agarwal Agarsen College: 1 suicide
  • Thoothukudi district:
    • Government Medical College: 1 suicide
  • Maharashtra:
    • IIT-Bombay: 2 incidents
    • Topiwala National Medical College: 2 incidents
    • MGM Medical College: 2 incidents

Yearly Statistics

The yearly statistics paint a stark picture of the evolving crisis:

  • 2018: 8 cases
  • 2019: 2 cases
  • 2020: 2 cases
  • 2022: 4 cases
  • 2023: 9 cases

Facts: Addressing the Issue

The UGC has taken measures to address the concerning rise in student suicides:

  • 24×7 Anti-Ragging Helpline: The UGC has established a helpline to combat ragging, providing assistance round the clock.
  • Helpline Information: This helpline offers various forms of assistance, including counseling for distressed students and a platform for reporting distress calls.
  • UGC Case Intervention: The UGC intervenes based on media reports and received complaints, working to address issues that come to its attention.

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