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Another death in Kota: NEET aspirant found dead in her room

The student, who had isolated herself in her room, was discovered hanging from a ceiling fan. No suicide note has been found. This tragedy contributes to a disturbing trend, with 26 student suicides reported this year, the highest since 2015.

Another death in Kota: NEET aspirant found dead in her room
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First Published Nov 28, 2023, 9:32 AM IST

In yet another indicator of the rigorous academic environment in Kota, a 20-year-old student from West Bengal, dedicatedly preparing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical admissions, was found dead on Monday night. Kota, the hub of India's test preparation business, is renowned for its intense coaching programs. Local authorities were alerted by the student's landlord after repeated attempts to contact the student went unanswered. Subsequent investigation by the police revealed the student's lifeless body hanging from the ceiling fan in her room. 

Rajesh Pathak, a local police officer, stated that the student had isolated herself in her room earlier in the day. As of now, no suicide note has been discovered, and a comprehensive search of the room is pending until the parents arrive in the city. The body has been sent to the district medical college hospital for a detailed autopsy, with further investigation currently underway.

This tragic incident adds to a concerning trend in Kota, with a staggering 26 student suicides reported this year, marking the highest number since 2015. Kota, with an estimated annual worth of Rs 10,000 crores in the test-preparation industry, attracts students from across the country. The demanding academic atmosphere, coupled with the physical separation from families, has been identified as a significant stress factor for students.

In response to the alarming surge in student suicides, the Rajasthan government took decisive action on September 28 by issuing guidelines aimed at mitigating the mental health challenges faced by students. These guidelines include mandatory screening tests, a shift from ranking-based to alphabetical sorting of students, and the establishment of monitoring centers in Kota and Sikar. 

Additionally, a dedicated portal for collecting relevant data from coaching institutes has been proposed. The guidelines also outline legal repercussions for coaching institute faculty found in violation of these regulations.

The proactive measures were prompted by recommendations from a 15-member committee set up on August 19 to address the escalating crisis of student suicides in Kota. As authorities grapple with the situation, the focus remains on implementing strategies to safeguard the mental well-being of students pursuing their dreams in this academic hub.

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