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Kota: 'Half-Day Study, Half-Day Fun', Counselling For Vulnerable Students - Measures Discussed To Curb Rising Cases Of Suicides

The meeting convened by the principal secretary (higher and technical education), Bhawani Singh Detha, was attended by representatives of coaching institutes and hostel association.

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In light of the rising concern over an unprecedented increase in tragic student suicide cases in Rajasthan's Kota,  several measures were discussed on Monday in a high-level meeting which encompassed strategies like 'half-day study, half-day fun' on one weekday, identification of students with suicidal tendencies and psychological counselling.

The meeting convened by the principal secretary (higher and technical education), Bhawani Singh Detha was attended by principal secretary (higher and technical education), Bhawani Singh Detha, was attended by representatives of coaching institutes and hostel association. The other officials who attended the meeting included Kota Collector O P Bunkar, SP Sharad Chaudhary, Additional Collector (Administration) Rajkumar Singh, and Additional SP Bhagwat Singh Hingad. 

Detha is also the chairman of a committee formed on the direction of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to look into the issue. The committee will visit Kota on September 2 to take stock of the situation.

Measures discussed in the meeting

According to the officials, in a bid to put a check on the rising cases of suicide, it was decided in the meeting that the coaching institutes will hold 'half-day study, half-day fun' on every Wednesday and they will not conduct any routine tests for the next two days.

Moreover, the coaching institutes have also been directed to form a committee of subject experts in an attempt to reduce burden of courses on students. 

The institutes have also been asked to hold online motivational sessions by experts and upload the same on social media for benefit of all students. Besides, absentees from the routine tests and poor performers will be identified and they will be provided psychological counselling, the officials said.  

A form will be developed for coaching students to fill in everyday so that their mental status can be assessed. 

It has been reported that tests at coaching centres in Kota stayed for two months in continuation of "providing mental support and security"

What does the state administration say?

Expressing concern over the student suicide cases, Kota district collector Bunkar said, "It is an alarming situation as so many students are committing suicides."

He further explained that the decision on immediate and long terms measures taken in the meeting to check suicide cases would help release stress of the students and create favourable environment.

Moreover, Kota City SP Choudhary also proposed to set up an exclusive police station for students.

"As an expansion of students' police helpdesk already functional, I gave the idea of setting up a police station for students in Kota to address their concerns," Chaudhary told reporters.

The draft proposal for exclusive students' police station would be sent to the state government for sanction in the next few days, the SP (City) said.

Student suicides rising like never before in Kota

The concern over the long-standing student suicides issue escalated as total 22 students have ended their lives so far in 2023, the highest for any year.Back in 2022, the figure was 15.

More than two lakh students move to Kota, a coaching hub, annually to prepare for competitive exams such as the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for admission to engineering institutes and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical colleges.

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