The move is aimed at curbing rising incidents of on-campus suicides; IIT Council also approves increasing seats for girls
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will soon have an extensive induction programme for freshers in order to acclamatise them to the new environment. This decision was taken in order to make students more comfortable and prevent incidents of on-campus suicide.
This decision was taken in a meeting of the IIT Council on Friday, with the council discussing the rising incidents of student suicides for the first time. The meeting was chaired by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and attended by the Directors of the seven older IITs.
The council has also given its approval for increasing seats for girl students across IITs. The minister said that the government wants to take the ratio of girl students in IITs to 20 per cent from the existing 8 per cent.
“We have planned many activities in the IITs so that students are not left alone. For instance, there will be a wellness centre in each IIT to take care of the mental and physical well-being of students,” Javadekar said.
After the council’s meeting, the 23 IITs have been urged to undertake a number of new initiatives to prevent suicides on campus. Apart from the compulsory induction programme, teaching students ways of coping with stress and referring them to on-campus counsellors will also be carried out.
Rising incidents of suicide have been a cause of worry for the IITs recently. This year itself, three students from various IITs committed suicide, with the latest being a student of Aerospace Engineering from IIT Kharagpur.
In the seven-hour long IIT Council meeting, which took place in Mumbai, numerous issues were taken up.
“Numerous female students pass the JEE advance entrance test but do not eventually take admission into IIT. We studied this and have prepared an action plan. We want to take their numbers to 20 per cent and many more female students should take up admissions in IIT. From this viewpoint, many schemes to encourage girl students, such as merit scholarships, etc, have been formulated,” Javadekar said.
Further, it has also been proposed that meritorious students who can work on research and innovation will be provided with funds of Rs 75,000 from the Prime Minister Scholarship Scheme.