NEW DELHI: Police records state that at least one student commits suicide, on an average every month, in the coaching hub of Kota in Rajasthan.
A 16-18 hour study hour, a life away from home and the constant pressure of entrance test. These are some of the factors which have driven scores of students to suicide in the coaching centres here. The government has woken up now, and wants to regulate these centres and make them take measures like, providing psychological counselling and proper hostel facilities for the students.
Nearly 20 students committed suicide in Kota last year. The city has around 200 coaching institutes and the industry is estimated to be worth around `2,000 crore. Students from various parts of the country flock there to crack exams like the IIT-JEE, which has a ratio of around 12 lakh aspirants for 10,000 seats.
“There is tremendous stress on these students as most of them are studying virtually 16-18 hours a day, in the race to finish first. Apart from this, due to the high cost of accommodation, many of them live in cramped hostels and flats, making it more difficult,” sources in the Women and Child Development Ministry said.
A team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) visited the city and has recommended several measures to de-stress the students and regulate the institutes.
The six-member team interviewed scores of students and also had meetings with the coaching institute officials, police as well as the district administration. The commission is forming guidelines for coaching institutes, which will be forwarded by the ministry to the state government.
Sources said the draft guidelines include compulsory psychological counsellers in all coaching institutes, registration of addresses of all students enrolled and big coaching institutes providing proper residential accommodation for the students.
There was also a need to regulate the fee structure of all the institutes, they said.
The government is also forming an inter-ministerial committee to look at full-time regulation of all coaching institutes across the country.