Hyderabad: The statistics of suicides in the International Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) run by Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies in rural areas, such as Basar in Telangana and Nuzvid in Krishna district and Idupulapaya in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh, reveal that there is a dangerous trend of students who are mostly from rural areas and towns, ending their lives due to various kinds of pressure, including academic.
Around 20 students committed suicide or attempted suicide in the past three years in IIIT Basar, IIIT RK Valley in Idupalapaya and IIIT Nuzvid.
IIIT Basar in-charge vice-chancellor Prof. S Satyanarayana said that the suicide of a girl student on Monday in Basar was due to various reasons. For one, she did not want to study at the university but was pressurised by her parents to do so, he said.
“Secondly, she was involved in a squabble with another girl over a love affair. The dean of student welfare had counselled her over the same,” he went on.
Prof. Satyanarayana admitted that the problem of suicide is not just in Basar but in rural IIITs in AP too.
“They are all teenagers and most of them come here as their parents force them to. Apart from parental pressure, there are lots of issues pertaining to peer pressure like love affairs going wrong.”
IIIT Basar has more than 5,700 students. The students are enrolled for a six-year integrated course — two years intermediate and four years engineering. The pass percentage is around 95 to 98 at the end of the course and the campus recruitment rate is 60 per cent. There are around 150 staff out of which 21 are permanent and the rest are on contract basis, the professor said.
He said there is no entrance test for rural IIITs and students come mainly from Telugu medium schools and have to cope suddenly with English as the medium of instruction. “Eighty-five per cent of them are from rural backgrounds where copying is common.”
Clearly the problem has to do with the alien environment in which students find themselves, the lack of effective help or counselling, and academic standards that many of the students are unable to cope with and may have been pushed into by their parents.
Two rural IIITs — Srikakulam and Ongole — are run from the same campus in Nuzvid and Idupupalaya respectively. Nuzvid has more than 7,000 students.
IIIT-Idupalapaya has called for recruitment of counsellors recently. The director of the institute, Prof. G. Bhagavannaray-ana, says most of the students are toppers in school, but sudde-nly lose their position in the new environment and are un-der mental pressure.
“There have been two or three attempted suicides after I joined. These are cases of homesickness and change in atmosphere. Our faculty counsels them regularly. Our examination system has less pressure because the best of three mid semesters can be taken. Most of the students are from the lower middle class,” he said....