This year has seen four suspected suicides at the prestigious IIT-Madras, with the latest occurring on Friday when a second-year B.Tech Chemical Engineering student was discovered dead in his dormitory room.
The 20-year-old dead lived in a college dorm and was from Madhya Pradesh. On Friday morning, Suresh’s companions discovered that his room had been completely locked from the inside. The worried pals alerted the hostel warden, who then notified the police, after their calls went unanswered.
The Kotturpuram police have opened an investigation, and on Friday night, the required medical procedures were being completed. The family would then get the body, according to the police.
The most recent example of a student passing away at IIT-Madras was reported on March 31 when a research scholar was found deceased. The IIT-Madras administration banned a professor from going to the department’s lab in response to the suspected suicide because of claims that he was involved in the tragedy. The professor was disciplined after the deceased student’s brother complained in a six-page letter to Prof. V Kamakoti, the director of IIT-Madras, that the professor had put “undue pressure” on his brother and had regularly reprimanded him despite being aware of his ongoing mental health treatment.
A second-year MSc student from Maharashtra and a student in his or her 20s were the victims of two other fatalities that were reported in February and March of this year. Police had previously reported that a student, age 21, committed suicide in September 2022.
33 students have died by suicide at IITs nationwide since 2018, the Union Ministry of Education reported to the Rajya Sabha earlier this month during the second leg of the budget session. In total, 61 suicide instances were reported by the IITs, National Institutes of Technology, and IIMs between 2018 and 2023, for which data was supplied. More than half of these suicides occur in IITs, followed by NITs (24) and IIMs (4).
In his written answer, Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar listed several causes for such suicide situations, including “academic stress, family reasons, personal reasons, mental health issues, etc.”
The IIT Council resolved to hire at least one mental health counsellor on each campus amid mounting worries over student suicides.