- The government does not maintain records of suicide cases among students in all educational institutions and various coaching centres, including those preparing for the NEET exam, Says Subhash Sarkar
The Central Government clarified on Monday that it does not maintain records of suicide cases among students in all educational institutions and various coaching centres, including those preparing for the NEET exam, across the country. The statement was issued by Subhas Sarkar, the Minister of State for Education, in the Parliament.
Sarkar was responding to queries raised by Dr TR Paarivendhar and Ravneet Singh Bittu, two Members of Parliament who had asked about the data on suicide cases of NEET students and whether there are plans to establish standard guidelines for coaching centres and institutions nationwide to prevent student suicides.
“Education falls under the concurrent list, and both the Central and State Governments manage educational institutions. The majority of educational institutions in the country come under the purview of the State/UT Government. However, the number of suicide cases among students in these institutions and various coaching centres, including NEET coaching centres, is not recorded. Nevertheless, according to the Accidental Deaths & Suicide in India (ADSI) 2021 report by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), suicides may result from various causes such as professional/career issues, feelings of isolation, abuse, violence, family problems, and mental disorders,” Sarkar stated.
Regarding measures taken by the government to prevent such cases, he informed the Parliament that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 mandates the establishment of counselling systems in every institute to help students manage stress. “The policy also encourages student participation in sports, cultural/arts clubs, eco-clubs, activity clubs, and community service projects,” he added.
“The Ministry has implemented various initiatives, including peer-assisted learning and introducing technical education in regional languages, to ease academic stress for students. The Government of India’s MANODARPAN initiative encompasses a wide range of activities aimed at providing psychological support to students, teachers, and families for mental and emotional well-being during and beyond the COVID outbreak. The Ministry has also advised institutions to strengthen their systems by incorporating prevention, detection, and remedial measures to address potential causes of suicides,” Sarkar explained.
He further stated that all higher education institutes (HEIs) have been instructed to conduct workshops/seminars on happiness and wellness, regular yoga sessions, induction programs, extracurricular activities including sports and cultural events, and more.