Concerned over the spate of suicides by students of coaching institutes in Kota, the Rajasthan government has decided to frame strict regulations for the institutes while also put in place procedures to provide counselling to students.
The new regulations are expected to come into force from the next coaching season.
The government has sought a report from the Kota district administration to ascertain the reasons behind the rising number of suicides by students studying in private institutes providing coaching for technical entrance examinations.
Higher education minister Kalicharan Saraf has also constituted a committee headed by the principal secretary to analyse policies regarding coaching institutes in neighbouring states like Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab among others.
“We have sought a report from the district collector, Kota on the increasing number of student suicides, to find out the reasons behind this phenomenon,” Saraf told The Indian Express on Wednesday.
The minister said the government would also put in place systems for providing counselling to students undertaking coaching in private institutes in Kota.
“Every student is different and has different capabilities. It is not fair for parents and coaching institutes to create pressure on each student to get through to IIT or pass medical entrance exams,” Saraf said.
“I have asked the principal secretary, higher education to find out what policies are in force in neighbouring states regarding coaching institutes. We hope our efforts will yield some positive results,” he said.
Kota, which has emerged as the preferred destination for students (and their parents) to prepare for tough entrance examinations to premier higher education institutes in engineering and medical streams, has been hit by a spate of suicides over the last few months.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Kota witnessed 45 student suicides in 2014, up 61 percent from 2013. Most recently, two teenage girls committed suicide in the city on Sunday, purportedly due to entrance exam related stress.
On Tuesday, the State Human Rights Commission sought a factual report from the SP and collector of Kota over the rising suicides. Taking suo motu cognizance of the increasing suicides, the SHRC has asked the authorities to submit the report within a month.
Meanwhile, coaching institutes in the city have decided to psycho-profile students that enrol with them in order to guage their state of mind. The institutes are to soon come up with a “psychological test” to be held during admissions and mid-session, designed to reduce negativity and induce positive thoughts.