NEET aspirant dies by suicide in Kota, 25th case this year

By, Jaipur
Sep 19, 2023 04:57 AM IST

The district administration has issued orders to suspend all tests in coaching centers for the next two months due to the surge in suicides.

A 16-year-old student, who was preparing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission in undergraduate medical courses, died by suicide in Kota area of Rajasthan on Monday night, police said, taking the number of such cases in the state’s coaching hub to 25 this year.

No suicide note has been found yet, said the police (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
No suicide note has been found yet, said the police (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

According to police records, the number is by far the highest since 2015.

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Circle officer of Kota Fifth Dharamveer Singh said, “The girl was a resident of Uttar Pradesh and was staying in Kota for the last one and a half years. She earlier used to live in a hostel but had shifted to a rented accommodation in Vigyan Nagar area three months ago.”

The NEET aspirant allegedly consumed a poisonous substance on Monday afternoon, Singh added.

READ | Another NEET aspirant dies by suicide in Kota; 22 cases this year

“After consuming the substance, she fell sick and started vomiting and stepped outside. Observing her condition, a few students passing through the area immediately rushed her to a nearby hospital where she died after a few hours of treatment,” the officer added.

According to the initial investigation, the student had not attended several classes at the coaching centre in the last few months, police said. “The reason for her taking the extreme step is yet to be ascertained,” station house officer of Vigyan Nagar Kaushlya Galaur said.

“No suicide note has been found yet. We will be able to search her room after her parents reach the city. The body has been sent to the district medical college hospital for an autopsy,” Galaur added.

READ | NEET aspirant dies by suicide in Sikar in Rajasthan

Kota is the centre of India’s test-preparation business, estimated to be worth 10,000 crores annually, according to officials in the district administration. Students from around the country arrive here in huge numbers after completing Class X and register in these residential institutes. They also enrol in schools, most of which are largely for the purposes of certification.

Students attend classes only in the institutes, which prepare them for their Class XII examination, but more importantly, entrance examinations such as NEET and JEE. Some students find the grind stressful, especially because they are away from their families.

On September 13, another Jharkhand-based 16-year-old student died by suicide in Vigyan Nagar.

Two other NEET students from Bihar and Maharashtra also died by suicide on August 27 within six hours after appearing for their weekly test in the coaching institute.

On August 15, an 18-year-old student from Bihar, who was preparing for JEE for admission in engineering courses, allegedly died by suicide in his paying guest (PG) accommodation in the district’s Mahaveer Nagar area.

On August 11, a 17-year-old JEE aspirant, also from Bihar, died by suicide in a hostel in Mahaveer Nagar. On August 4, another 17-year-old engineering aspirant from Bihar died by suicide in Mahaveer Nagar. A day earlier on August 3, a NEET aspirant from Uttar Pradesh died by suicide in Vigyan Nagar.

According to police data, 15 students died by suicide in Kota in 2022, 18 in 2019, 20 in 2018, seven in 2017, 17 in 2016, and 18 in 2015. No suicide took place in 2020 and 2021.

Considering a rapid surge in such cases. Kota district administration on August 27 issued an order directing the coaching centres to suspend all the tests for the next two months.

On Saturday, HT reported that a top Rajasthan government committee is set to recommend barring students younger than class 8 from taking admission in coaching institutes in Kota, allowing pupils to claim refund from institutions if they drop out, and implementing training modules for teachers and hostel owners, as part of a slew of recommendations aimed at fighting the spate of suicides that has rocked India’s test-preparation hub this year.

The 15-member panel — headed by state higher education secretary Bhawani Detha — was set up by the Rajasthan government on August 17 against the backdrop of mounting outrage over student suicides in Kota that has touched 24 this year, the highest since data started being compiled in 2015. The committee — which also comprised collectors of a few nearby districts and Kota’s assistant police superintendent — met stakeholders such as coaching institute owners, hostel authorities, psychiatrists and police officials.

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