Kota halts tests for 2 months as suicide rates heighten; CM orders

Two NEET aspirants die by suicide in 6 hours. District collector asks Coaching Centres to halt exams on CM's orders as suicide rates surge to their highest since 2015 .

Two teenage aspirants in Kota were found dead by suicide. The first death was of a 16-year-old from Maharashtra who jumped from the sixth floor of his coaching institute in Vigyan Nagar. Circle Officer Dharam Veer Singh said, “The teen took the extreme step at his coaching institute after appearing for a scheduled weekly test in the afternoon.”

Six hours after the grim incident, another 18-year-old was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his room hailing from Bihar. “The teen from Bihar had been staying with his sister and a cousin at a rented apartment in the Kunadi area. His siblings found him hanging from the fan in his own room this evening after breaking open the door when he didn’t respond to repeated knocks.” Saif SHO of Kunadi Police Station Ganga Sahay Sharma. He further added that the victim succumbed to their attempt in the hospital a while later.

“No suicide note was found in both the cases and a preliminary report did not suggest any behavioural changes,” said an official familiar with the matter.

These aspirants were preparing for the country’s undergraduate medical entrance exam called NEET (National Eligibility Entrance Test). Each year 15 to 16 lakh register for the test with only a small percentage making it to the limited medical colleges.

Owing to these morbid trends, this year’s suicide tally has been the highest since 2015 with 6 out of 23 deaths that took place in August attributed to suicide. On the decision of the administration, late on Sunday, district collection Om Prakash Bunkar said he issued “an order directing the coaching centres not to take any tests for the next two months.”

The District Collector further said, “Parents and the family should be more careful. Despite staying with the family members, both of them were not spotted with any behavioural changes. In this case, it is more difficult for us to identify the students who are suffering from depression or maybe showing suicidal tendencies. The district administration, however, is making several efforts to make changes in the scenario.”

Kota Test-Prep Industry:

The Kota test-prep industry is estimated to be worth Rs. 10,000 crores per annum. Several thousands of students after their 10th class come to Kota to attend 11th and 12th in a unique fashion in Kota wherein the students apply to a ‘dummy school’ which registers their name but they prepare for their competitive exams in the coaching centre during daily school hours only attending the school for practicals and pre-board examinations. This preparation equips them to prepare for both the 12th board examinations as well as their competitive exams. The students go to Kota to principally prepare for IIT-JEE and NEET. These exams are undergraduate-level entrance exams for engineering and medical colleges respectively etc.

Elections nearing, CM Gehlot has been proactive in diffusing tensions building in relation to women’s crime, suicides and overall safety in Rajasthan. On August 18, he expressed concerns about the suicide surge and said, “There should not be any further rise in such (suicide) cases… time has come for improvement. We cannot see young students committing suicide… even the death of even one kid is unfortunate and is a huge loss for parents.”

The Rajasthan government’s decision to halt all entrance exams in Kota is a welcome step. It is hoped that this will give students a much-needed break and help to reduce the stress levels that are contributing to the high suicide rate.

The Kota district administration, on August 17, ordered all hostels and PG accommodations to install spring-loaded fans in all rooms “to provide students mental support and security”.

Please, also have a look into : Doctors propose major changes in Kota after second suicide in 24 hours

Related Articles

Back to top button