Recently, two students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad died by suicide. Releasing a statement on the same, the institute called it an “unfortunate incident” and “came as a shock.” “We are with the students in this situation. We all are equally shocked at the recent unfortunate incidents. IITH has been trying its best to support students who are having academic difficulties. The faculty advisors are always constantly in touch with the students, particularly those who are not doing very well,” the institute said in a statement.
Among the two students were Rahul Bingumalla, a MTech student. He was allegedly found hanging in the hostel room, and Megh Kapoor, a BTech graduate, who allegedly jumped off the terrace of his building on Wednesday. He was from Rajasthan’s Jodhpur and had moved into the lodge after passing out of IIT three months ago. The police are still investigating the reason for the alleged suicide of the two students.
Rahul who was an MTech student, started a project in July 2022, and he had about 10 months to complete the project. “There is no need for him to feel the pressure. Quite a number of students find any project very difficult at the beginning of the project but do exceedingly well by the end of the project period,” the IIT said.
“In the case of Megh, he has completed the tenure of BTech (4 years). During the Covid period, he was not doing well academically. However, in the last 1 year, once the Covid restrictions have been eased out, the department has started helping him significantly, and the student started getting very good SGPA of 7.5 and 8.3, respectively, in the last two years. We were very happy that he started improving academically, and we were expecting that he would complete all the remaining courses very soon, and this news came to us like a shock,” the institute said.
Explaining Megh’s need to stay in a lodge, the institute stated that it has a policy to allow students to stay on campus only during their tenure. UG students who complete their four years tenure are not given accommodation on campus. MTech students who complete two years also are not provided accommodation on campus.
IIT Hyderabad further added that it has a Sunshine programme in which volunteers in each branch for each batch try to identify students who appear to have difficulties and bring them to the notice of the Counsellors, who then take over to help the students. “We have 3 permanent employees as counsellors who stay on campus. Unfortunately, In the case of Rahul, he never showed any signs of depression. He celebrated his birthday 4 days before the incident, and two days before the incident, he celebrated Indian victory over Pakistan in the Cricket match along with his friends. In the case of Megh, he had some difficulty in 2019, and our Counsellors were attending to him, and then he went home after that and returned to campus only in Jan 2022. After returning, he did not contact the counsellors,” the IIT added.
Earlier, a student died by suicide at IIT Kanpur. A student of mechanical engineering, Prashant Singh, he joined IIT Kanpur in 2019 for his master’s degree before signing up for a PhD programme last year. The IIT in its statement has said that the institute “condoles untimely and unfortunate demise of PhD student”. The institute said that they have “lost a talented student and aspiring scientist.”
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