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Rajasthan Govt Panel Suggests Key Measures To Curb Kota Students Suicide Cases

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 29, Aug 2023, 9:52 am IST | UPDATED: 31, Aug 2023, 17:20 pm IST

Rajasthan Govt Panel Suggests Key Measures To Curb Kota Students Suicide Cases

A comprehensive approach to tackle the distressing rise in student suicides in Rajasthan's Kota has been outlined by a government panel. The meeting, which saw participation from coaching institutes, hostel associations, and officials, was spearheaded by Bhawani Singh Detha, the principal secretary for higher and technical education. Detha, also the chairman of the committee constituted by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, has been entrusted with the task of addressing this grave concern. The committee is scheduled to visit Kota on September 2 to assess the situation on the ground.

A range of strategies were discussed during the meeting, aimed at alleviating the mounting pressure on students. To provide a balanced approach, the idea of 'half-day study, half-day fun' on one weekday was proposed. The panel highlighted the importance of identifying students with suicidal tendencies and recommended offering psychological counselling to assist them. Notably, coaching institutes were called upon to establish committees of subject experts to streamline course loads, with a view to reducing the burden on students.

Additionally, the institutes were advised to conduct online motivational sessions led by experts, subsequently sharing these sessions on social media platforms for wider accessibility. Wednesdays were earmarked for 'half-day study, half-day fun' sessions, offering students a much-needed respite. To further support students, the routine tests for NEET and other competitive exams were temporarily suspended for the next two months.

An innovative approach to developing a daily mental health assessment form for students was proposed. This would enable the monitoring of students' emotional well-being on a regular basis. Furthermore, students who missed routine tests or demonstrated poor performance would be flagged for psychological counselling.

This meeting was convened following the tragic suicides of two NEET aspirants on the preceding Sunday. In attendance were key officials including Kota Collector O P Bunkar, SP Sharad Chaudhary, Additional Collector (Administration) Rajkumar Singh, and Additional SP Bhagwat Singh Hingad.

"The frequency of student suicides is deeply concerning," remarked Kota district collector Bunkar after the meeting. The preliminary discussions aimed to explore both immediate and long-term strategies to counter this disheartening trend.

In a bid to offer holistic support, Kota City SP Choudhary proposed the establishment of a dedicated police station for students. This proposed students' police station, an extension of the existing student helpdesk, would address students' concerns more effectively. The draft proposal for this specialized police station is expected to be submitted to the state government shortly.

Earlier on August 18, Chief Minister Gehlot convened a meeting involving all stakeholders, directing the formation of the committee led by Detha. The committee's mandate is to submit a comprehensive report within 15 days.

Tragically, two students preparing for competitive exams in Kota took their lives within a four-hour span, marking the 22nd such incident this year, an alarming increase from the previous year's count of 15.

In response to the distressing suicides of two students, the district administration in Kota, Rajasthan, has issued a directive mandating a two-month suspension of testing activities at coaching institutes. This measure comes in light of the alarming rate of student suicides, which has reached 22 this year in two separate incidents. District Collector Om Prakash Bunkar issued an order requiring coaching centres to halt all testing activities for the next two months.

Kota, a prominent coaching hub, annually hosts over two lakh students who aspire to excel in competitive exams such as the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

Rajasthan's Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, concerned about the escalating suicides, initiated a committee to investigate and address this critical issue. He shared his personal journey of overcoming failure in his pursuit of becoming a doctor. The state police department also established a students' cell on June 22, aiming to foster student well-being. This dedicated team of officers engages with students and monitors coaching centres to ensure their welfare.