“MOST toppers pick IIT-B for better jobs” is the title of a front page article of a leading newspaper (HT) on 08/07/15.The ‘IIT-tag’ is considered one of the most prestigious achievements a student can have.
However, SPARK reporters have been in touch with students from IIT-Bombay and have uncovered some facts about IIT which contradict the image that IITs in general, portray.
Wouldn’t you be shocked to know that in the past year alone there have been 3 suicides as well as a suicide attempt in the IIT Bombay campus? Do you recollect any suicide in your college? Why do so many students commit suicide in this so-called ‘heaven’? Don’t you think that even one suicide is one too many?
In the past year there was a report in a newspaper that ‘a student from IIT Bombay slipped and fell off the balcony while on a phone call.’ Thus any reader would think that the reported death was an accident. However if you look at the said balcony you can see that it is impossible to ‘slip and fall’ from it! Can we conclude that there is something fishy in this? Is this an attempt to cover up a suicide as an accident?
When students are selected for IIT, they feel like ‘they are in the seventh heaven’. Most of them are toppers from the schools and colleges they have earlier attended. Many of them are even Board toppers. But within an IIT class, everyone cannot be at the top! Someone does have to be at the bottom. This by itself is something that is very difficult for students to live with. Many of such students don’t know how to handle it.
All of us know how hard it is to get into an IIT and that preparation for the JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) starts at ever younger ages – even in the 5th or 6th standard! Many students who get into IIT have single-mindedly focused on the JEE for a substantial portion of their young lives to the exclusion of all else. Not a few of them enter after more than one attempt. After getting into IIT, quite a few realise that engineering is not what they really want to do! What do they do then? Drop out or stay on? There is no easy choice.
The dropout rate in IIT Roorkee is terrible. Out of 1050 students admitted every year, only 980 graduate. This problem is not confined to IIT Roorkee. Recently the Minister of Human Resource Development informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that altogether 2060 students dropped out of various IITs in the academic years 2012-13 to 2014-15.
Spark reporters found out that the academic and other stresses on many students are quite unbearable. The institute (IIT Bombay) employs only 3 counsellors for over 8000 students. A student stated that “It is extremely difficult to get an appointment with the counsellor, and even if one manages to do so, the student misses the appointment if it clashes with a class”. Many students who cannot handle the pressure and the competition waste away their lives in unproductive activities, fall prey to addictions or get depressed.
SPARK would like to raise the question that why is this happening in a so-called “premier” institute and why are concrete steps not being taken to resolve these issues?
SPARK will keep raising the issues related to the youth and urge all students and youth to unite together and fight for a just society.