Experts Concerned by Inaction After IIT Kharagpur Students Suicide

Experts Concerned by Inaction After IIT Kharagpur Students Suicide
Experts Concerned by Inaction After IIT Kharagpur Students Suicide
Experts Concerned by Inaction After IIT Kharagpur Students Suicide
Experts Concerned by Inaction After IIT Kharagpur Students Suicide

Experts Concerned by Inaction After IIT Kharagpur Students Suicide

Experts Concerned by Inaction After IIT Kharagpur Students Suicide. Pic/file image

IIT Student’s Suicide Sparks Concern

The recent suicide of 21-year-old K Kiran Chandra, an IIT Kharagpur student from Telangana, has raised questions about the state of mental health and support systems within India’s prestigious technical institutions. Experts are now wondering how many more students need to die before addressing this crisis.

Blame or Empathy? A Critical Examination

While the initial reaction to such tragedies is often to point fingers at the students’ perceived inability to handle the rigorous academic curriculum, experts argue that it’s time to move beyond the blame game. The formation of ad hoc committees aimed at assisting struggling students is a common response, but there is a lack of deep introspection into the root causes of these student suicides.

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Institutional Responsibility and Victim-Blaming

Kiran’s parents hold the institute’s faculty responsible for their son’s apparent suicide. They question the intense academic pressure faced by IIT students, highlighting the need for a broader discussion. Professor Ravikant Kisana, a cultural studies specialist, stresses that attributing these tragedies solely to syllabus issues or students’ coping abilities oversimplifies the matter and verges on victim-blaming.

Institutional Rigidity and Lack of Empathy

Institutional rigidity and a lack of empathy towards students are at the core of this crisis. Some argue that these institutions seem to derive a sense of validation from the intensity of their programs, equating students’ extreme measures with the rigor of their systems. The recent incident involving Prof Seema Singh berating students during an online class at IIT Kharagpur points to deeper issues, highlighting the need for change in the academic culture. This militaristic ‘Cope or die’ mindset, often present from the outset, sets a dangerous precedent for students.

Comparatively, private liberal universities handle suicides differently. While there may be uncertainty regarding action against harassing professors, students in such institutions are at least heard. The tendency of technical institutions to present each suicide as an isolated incident conceals the systemic nature of the problem. Students often lack the agency to negotiate with these institutions, and there is little to no accountability demonstrated through resignations or actions taken in response to such incidents.

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