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After spate of suicides, IITs come up with new ways to connect with students


New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are rebooting the way they connect with students. With close to half a dozen suicides by students at the IITs in 2023 so far, institutes are escalating preventive measures.

Some fresh initiatives include student-faculty informal dinners at IIT Delhi; roping in parents to interact with their wards at least twice a week through WhatsApp; open house meetings, face recognition attendance system to track students in mess and classrooms (in case students isolate themselves) at IIT Madras, having parents stay at the campus with wards in case of depression, among others.

On the academic front, to ease pressure on students, most IITs are offering flexibility like providing more than one exit option to students based on the credits scored.

IIT Jodhpur has extended the window to complete the UG programme to a maximum of 8 years, the institute shared in an emailed response.

For the upcoming semester, the IIT Delhi senate has approved a one-minor and one-major examination evaluation replacing two minor and one major, an official said who did not wish to be quoted.

The major issue stems from the major difference between the way students are trained at the coaching centres to the way of learning at the IITs, according to BS Murty, director, IIT Hyderabad. “It is time to reintroduce subjective questions in JEE advanced to help them gel well with the type of learning at IITs,” he said. “The performance or competitive milieu is one of the significant factors. Coaching experiences are very different from the learning experiences provided in the IITs,” said an IIT Guwahati official. IIT Kharagpur has already made a provision of an exit option for students who leave for various personal reasons prematurely from a UG programme after completing a substantial number of credits. The battle for those aspiring to get an IIT tag begins in the early school days. Most students are under pressure to crack the exam and, once at IITs, to perform well. IITs are working on strengthening non-academic measures as well.”In addition to existing mechanisms to deal with stress and ensure mental well-being, IIT Delhi is strengthening some mentorship and interactive verticals, especially to encourage interactions with students outside the classrooms, preferably at an individual level,” said an official at IIT Delhi.

Once the physical classes resumed post pandemic, students found some peers having an edge in placements. “For instance, some learnt another programming language online which betters their chances in internship and placement opportunities. This could have created stress,” said V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras.

IIT Roorkee has expanded its team from three to eight licensed clinical psychologists by the Rehabilitation Council of India at its wellness centre.


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