Tuesday, June 16, 2009

3rd Death in 3 Months, at India's No.1 Institute (?)

This morning, I received two "pings" on G-Talk from my batchmates at IIT-Kharagpur, and both seemed to be in an excited state. The first one pinged a link that most of them had put on as their Status Message, some story from Outlook. It seemed IIT-Kharagpur had yet again emerged as the No.1 Engg.college in the country in a survey that's normally conducted around this time of the year, during the admissions-counselling period. Not only did it beat the closest competitor, IIT-B, by a huge margin of 90 points, it had also topped the Architecture Schools list.

The implication might have been that IIT-Kgp was in fact the best place for an undergraduate student to be in the country. The 2nd ping, however, was quite in contradiction. It was not reconfirmed by anyone else, no news source carried it, and most said that the news wasn't being released "due to ongoing IIT-JEE counselling at IIT-Kgp." Somehow, a lone news source is carrying a report on the incident as of now. Oh, and the incident. Yeah, another student died at IIT-Kgp, nothing new...


Police said they broke into the room at the Madan Mohan Malaviyya hostel in the campus and recovered the body of Manoj Kumar (18) after the hostel cleaning staff complained of a stench emanating from it.

Police said prima facie it appeared to be a case of suicide and investigations were on.
-- The Indian Express

A first year student of Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture Department, Manoj Kumar, hailing from Rajasthan, was found hanging from the ceiling of his room in Madan Mohan Malviya Hall of Residence, IIT Kgp. It was just a couple of months ago, that another fourth year student had committed suicide in his hostel room. And who can forget the death of Rohit Kumar due to the institute run Hospital's medical negligence.

A 3rd year dies of Medical Negligence, a fourth year commits suicide a month later, and a fresher now. My batch had already lost Anshu to negligence in the first year itself. And we still are the best institute in the country.

Is this how complacent we've become? Is this the best place for a student to be? Is counselling for potential students more important than counselling suicide probables and taking care of existing students?

We have regular student-administration meetings at the campus, which all students are open to attend. I shall be attending them regularly the coming semester onwards, and shall raise and follow up on issues regarding the state of the hospital as well as allocation of doctors, counsellors and psychologists.

Will you be there?

Let's see...

28 comments:

THE MISCONCEPTION CALLED IIT said...

Anyone committing a suicide in their room cannot be considered a negligence of the institute rather it is the irresponsibility of the student and their immature behavior.

Divyam Singhal said...

well, IIT Delhi is used to topping the India Today surveys... but i strongly believe that IITB should be at the top in any survey....
-- an IITD student

Samar R P said...

In (trying to ) achieve excellence, we probably have forgotten the value of human life. This goes to show that maybe the entire academic paradigm is pedagogic and orthodox with no room for personal space and out-of-the-box thinking OR perhaps this entire generation is flawed.

but then again this does not take the blame away from the institute in anyway because somewhere or the other the institute IS responsible for these incidents.

I personally used to like IIT Kgp. but ...

zeeshan said...

Its really tragic bro!!

skip said...

Have to do something ...

Mainak said...

The Magazine rankings don't seem real at all - how can things change so much in a year that they need to publish rankings every year? Rankings which are updated once every 5 years makes sense. But the present rankings are senseless. All they do is juggle around and make sure the 5 IITs remain on top.

@THE MISCONCEPTION CALLED IIT: if the student was irresponsible, who admitted the student. IITKgp through a system of selection they call the JEE. Right?

kushank said...

in whatt way is IIT responsible for this incident!!!!!!!

manaal said...

Sorry,

But i don't think there is any responsibility of the institute if someone suicides ...

manaal said...

Sorry,

But i don't think there is any responsibility of the institute for such a case...
Stop blaming the insti for everything man !

Divyam Singhal said...

@mainak
dude, that was a very lame reply to "the misconception called iit"

teja said...

wot can iit do nething bout this incidence!?!
wot now.. we want a camera in each room monitoring each student so that they dont commit something of this sort?!!

Sajo said...

It is sad that a lot of the comments put the blame completely on the poor student. The act is irresponsible, immature and rash, but he threw away his life. No one would do this without any reason.

No one is asking the institute to monitor every room to prevent this from happening, but surely it needs to figure out why so many students are committing suicide. And not just figure out, but also address these issues. Brushing it under the carpet is clearly not the solution.

Shrey said...

It is amusing to see that most of the comments received here consider that the institute is in no way responsible, and it is merely a coincidence that a single college sees so many such incidents in a short time.

Is there really absolutely nothing the institute can do?

In either case, if the students do not care about the problem anyway, the blame really does not belong to the institute...

This is how it has always been. And this is how it'll always be.

Thank you all.

Maximus said...

there are hell lot of reasons y u should blame insti for this incident (I consider this as absolute accident).One imp reason is prof attitude towards the students.Of course those intrinsic reasons won't be released due to their concern for the fame of insti.
PS: I don't understand y the heck I see most of the ppl commenting on the bloody survey neglecting the central issue

Manish Kumar said...

@ALL who think IIT is not responsible:

main kuchh points de raha hoon, aasha karta hoon ki aaplogon ki samajh mein kuchh aayega. aap apne reactions de sakte hain....

1) jab bhi kisi state mein farmers suicide karte hain to State Govt. se jawaab maanga jaata hai, kyun?

2) agar IIT responsible nahi hai to kyun is baat ko dabaaya jaata hai?

3) kyun administration ke saare log suicide ke baad Halls mein jaakar students ke problems ko jaanne ki koshish karte hain? more importatnt is, "SUICIDE KE BAAD".

4) agar koi student apne personal talent se koi international award laata hai to wo IIT ki achievement hoti hai, lekin agar koi suicide karta hai to usmein system ki ghalti nahi hai, kyun?

ye main bhi maanta hoon ki suicide ka decision ghalat tha, lekin us ghalat decision ke peechhe kya kaaran tha, is se aaplogon ko koi matlab nahi hai. Suicide ka decision ko instantly nahi le sakta hai, itna bada decision lene se pahle koi bhi bahut baar sochega.

isliye, agar aaplog thoda sochenge to jarur samajh mein aayega ki "SYSTEM IS RESPONSIBLE". yahaan SYSTEM mein STUDENTS bhi aate hain.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that the student chose to take his life. This is not new. This used to happen in my time also. Some used to go crazy. The reasons were many. Love affairs, failing academic expectations, problems in family, sexual orientation, etc.

It is wrong to blame IIT for this student's decision, but the IIT administration should consider having a psychological counseling facility where these students can go and get help.

Since IIT thinks it is at par with universities around the world,
it should seriously think about improving its medical facility.
Most US universities have fantastic medical facilities. B.C. Roy is a joke. It is also an insult to the Dr. B.C. Roy who was a renowned doctor himself.

Lastly, don't blame IIT for what it has not done for you. Think what you can do for IIT. Because when you graduate, you will realize the power of the brand name IIT. This brand image has been crafted by the distinguished alumni. Soon you will have the responsibility of carrying this torch, and we hope that you will take it higher.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say ... Rohit was one of my friends when we were in kota... The condition here in IIT Kanpur is also the same.. some days ago a laborer's kid died becoz of their negligence. I am so angry on these people. How come prestigious and well fed institutions by the government cant afford better medical facilities. These people in IIT's somehow get to the top of the administration and then do corruption. Look at IITK director's property of 35 lakhs in Australia!!!!! I don't know why but the external agencies like CBI and police don't interfere and investigate such corrupt matters. IITs are no more the best institutions of India but they should now be entitled with the "the most dangerous" colleges of India where students die at a rate much greater than all other colleges of India combined. I have seen 6 suicides in IITK in 5 semesters!!!!!

skip said...

Hostel Wardens in IIT KGP after the suicide act ::I dont know whether the notice has been served or not, but these are the rules and we are just enforcing it this time.......A student will be treated as illegal student if he/she doesn't possesses a permission letter to stay here.

Step taken by administartion. Morons

Anonymous said...

it is indeed tragic. i can understand what may have been going through the mind of suicidee as i myself seriously attempted on my life once in extreme depression. i was trying to die of CO poisoning by burning stove in a closed room. luckily i thought about my father few hrs later and stopped the attempt. following day i let him know. my family responded. i sought psychiatric help and medicines for more than a year. underwent severe cognitive behavior therapy and have been moving on now after 1.5 yrs of the attempt. suicide is usually commited under extreme cognitive distortions which seem so real at the time. these cognitive distortions build up with time and appear so rigid and impossible to get rid of. they are the cause of extreme depression. fortunately Cognitive behavior therapy helps in eliminating these distortions slowly but surely. another thing that helps me is just letting go of things when needed. unfortunately many attempts turn out to be final with family/friends having no clue of whats going on...
-IIT Bombay B-tech graduate.

Anubhav said...

nopes... certainly not..

the cause of the suicide was certainly not the academic load.. well.. i can say that.... this is a confirm statement..

but its really lame and inappropriate and pathetic on the part of the author of this blog.

When inside the institute, I dun know where you people are... You need a reason to brat about... very unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

This guy who just committed suicide was in the same section as mine. If one knew him one would understand he was never meant to be studying here. However due to policy of reservation he got in and realized that he didn't fit in. So again as Manish said problem is not just in the institute but in the whole system.

Arka said...

OK, so, well... I've been looking at the comments, and yeah, I have to agree with one thing - IITs can't be held directly responsible for this thing. But yeah, where are the counsellors? Even high schools in the US and other countries have counsellors, surely India's best technical institutions must have them as well!

Next, who do we blame? The Government, the IITs, the parents, the student himself (but I guess he couldn't care less about himself now even if he wanted to), and his peers.

His peers? For their laid back attitude, which most probably caused him to waste time himself when he should have been improving his grades - he couldn't possibly have been totally unaware! His mid-semesters must have told him he was being screwed, his end-semesters of the first semester must've told him he was being screwed - but he ignored all the warning signs. Due to? Peer pressure.

The Parents? Because of the IIT mantra they kept chanting from that kid's childhood. Maybe he wasn't meant for technical education. Maybe he should've gone into the arts, the commerce fields. But this generation? All they hear about is IIT. And to what purpose? It ain't all that cool here people. If you don't like you're field of study, you can't possible like the Institute you are in, no matter whether it is ranked first or last. So what the parents have to bear? Yeah, it's entirely their fault. I don't feel as sorry for them as I'm supposed to. The only reason that I do? It's because I'm sorry that they were so narrow minded.

The student? How screwed up must he have been? He didn't think of his parents, he didn't think of how much money and resources he just wasted (I'm leaving out the emotional-distress-he-would-cause-his-parents part because, well, he committed suicide because he thought his marks would cause the emotional distress.) not only of his parents, but also of the institute, the country, and the world. But then he's gone now, so let's just leave him alone.

The IITs? Well, as I said, they could not have done much in this case except have had some counselors ready at hand, willing to listen, and easy to approach.

The Government? Well, what have they done to combat exam stress from our childhood? They have simplified the syllabus. I have a younger sibling in school, I know what they are studying - it's so damn ridiculous. They have weakened our education system because some students are apparently committing suicide due to exam fever! My take? A person who contemplates suicide at such a small step in life will do so at every small decision/risk they have to take! Don't weaken our syllabus because of that, get them counselling! Advertise on TV about alternate career paths, destressing, etc! They simplify the 10th curricula, the 10+2 curricula, then expect them to take on the high pressure life of college that easily?

Or do they now plan to ease up on our university curricula as well? Please, don't! Already there are now God-knows-how-many IITs, there now is more and more reservation, there is the continuous capacity expansion - soon the 'IIT' tag will have no value anymore! We don't need a weaker curricula to speed up the process! The are supposed to be amongst the world's best - please don't ruin them! (That would be my view even if I weren't in the IITs myself. I'd want them to remain India's best, the world's best, not go for capacity expansions even if it meant I wouldn't get a seat myself.)

P.S.: Kanpur used to be the numero uno IIT when the maximum number of suicides were committed there. Is that why it has shifted to KGP now?

Abhishek said...

I strongly agree with Arka. It is very unfortunate that some one had to end his life. But, instead of blaming the Institute for everything, we should try to find a solution.

P.S: Who cares about some dumb ranks in the magazines? What point does it prove?

Nebuchadnezzar said...

I agree with Arka.

I went to my uncle's in surat last week. I was taken aback to hear their neighbours send their nursery kid to tuitions (I bet u r thinking: unbelieveable). When they heard I was studying at kgp, they came to talk to me abt their kids future. They told me they intend their kid to go to one of the iits and asked me for some "tips" on how to study, how to prepare and when's the ideal age to join JEE coaching. Apparently they are planning to send their kid to some JEE coaching classes once he passes 7th. Has it come to this? Is it all abt getting just the stamp of some premier institution on the certificate or is it really abt getting a life?

Anonymous said...

I am a student of IIT-D. err... I WAS.

Once I got in, I saw that it was not meant for me... my calling was elsewhere, so I simply did what any rational person would do- Quit.

And my parents were supporting enough to deal with me carefully when I made such a huge decision. They stood behind me, never really scared me or did anything that would hurt my self-image and confidence.

Had it not been for my parents, I could have been found somewhere like this unfortunate fellow who was all of 18-- 18, for God's sake.

What IIT'ians typically forget is that people who are NOT into IIT do NOT have a similarly rational brain as them. Non-IIT'ians have been trained to take life the easy way. Easy Boards, easy competitions, easy classrooms, spoonfeeding tutions and now- Easy JEE. So they tend to think life is a bed of roses... and most people realize the ultimate truth only after a while--- truth is slowly unfolded to them. but once you are inside IIT, you are expected-- just expected-- to know and do everything the hard way or the easy way. the focus is on the end result.

I am a very successful media person now. Thousands of people love me, and I am thankful to all of them.

But, IIT is at fault at some stage. To begin with-- Easier JEE. Big problem, IMO.

Profs with supremacy- and a do or die attitude, another biggie.

Compulsary acitivities, another bother, though not as significant.

Peer pressure-- to just BE intelligent-- prepare for the exam just before it strikes and still do well, is HUGE.

There is just no way people would let you live an easy life at IIT, even if all you want to do is sit back behind a closed room and study.

We all know IIT'ians are veryu rational people-- then why on earth do they smoke and drink-- ON THE CAMPUS ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS BANNED. This doesn't have to do directly with that student's misery, but another thing to consider IMO.

Listen-- Why can't you just really take it at your own pace? Why are you expected to come out of it in 4 years. I felt 6 years would be more like it for me-- people laughed at me just at a mere suggestion.

Why are most students copying reports from one stud who does it every week... If you are IIT'ian, you know what I mean.

Why can't you be forgiven for mistakes? Why can't you prepare your lab report just with the actual data you observed, instead of faking it? Why are you NOT prepared to use equipment independently? Why are the lab assistants always in a hurry to leave? Why can't you complete your experiment at some other time-- and keep doing it till you get the right results?'

I think IIT's have a lot to answer. They might be known as the best inti's, but they still have a long way to go before they can stand in the league of MIT and Harvard.

And yes, why are the top placements like-- a measly $60,000?

If IIT'ians really are the BRAND in the world, then they deserve at least a 6-figure on an average. Don't you start telling me what the industry is-- I hire IIT'ians now, and we'll probably meet at your campus recruitment. But the point is-- I know there's a lot of money that can be made if an IIT'ian effectively channelizes their energy. And that doesn't happen.

How many IIT'ians have made a billion dollars? A hundred million? How many NOBEL prizes do the alumni boast of? Not a lot, I'd guess.

All things remaining equal, IIT does need to do a LOT to imrpove the life of students at IIT.

-Roger (My pen name)

Anonymous said...

@Roger

apart from all the crap you have written, i think you need a reality check on your ego..!!

and wtf, go on boasting about your knowledge, which apparently is screwed

Anonymous said...

@ Roger
You Have Just said A very harsh Reality which doesnt only prevails in IIT's Its the Dastardy implication of Whole Social and Political structure of the indian society.
Actually , not just IIT . its the laidback Attitude most of the Times of the People concerned Like as You have said about the lab etc. in IIT's as far as i have seen in My First Year They Are Very Surprisingly Depressing , please dun mind the feeling that Someone is an IItian so you have to support every Issue in side of IIT.
Please think for a second independently , Dun IITians Deserve A Lot OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND InSPIRATION AS FUTURE CITIZENS WHO WILL RUN THE COUNTRY On their Shoulders. Dun They need A More Of funding for Their Labs And More Better Treatment By Professors !!
Its now a story heard now and again that lectures are too bad but doesn't it seem to be a serious food for thought. We Only hear in news about the reservations and Stuff. Has anyone Heard about Pranav Mistry In MIT Media Lab Student and his Latest Invention ??
Its the things which effect us IITians (generally) we are assumed to be doing wonders but Does anyone care about what we want To Make that Happen ?? Do they Provide Us Students enough facilities ?? Its So Bleak Future for the whole Country .. If A step is not taken Immediately ...
I hope people realise Our Miseries and Authorities take steps :)
Hoping for Best as Always
2nd yr. Student @iitkgp
and floormate of Manoj Kumar
(you wont believe that i have got such a worse result in my first two sems but it hasnt done anything to my Morale to work harder to achieve my aim )


PLEASE SEE THIS VIDEO AND GET INSPIRED ( PRANAV MISTRY , the young scientist of the year , Popular science)
http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/95325/30-minutes-superstars-of-science.html

Descartes said...

If people about IIT think that suicide is just a matter of fixing responsibility IITs are worth nothing.

If IITs cant even create self confidence in the bright literate healthy young people how to face difficulties in campus, then the IITs can disappear tomorrow and the nation can do business as usual.