Rocked by suicides, Rajasthan govt asks Kota institutes to stop tests
File photo of students at a coaching institute in Kota | Twitter/X

Rocked by suicides, Rajasthan govt asks Kota institutes to stop tests

Two-month breather comes after spate of suicides by NEET and JEE aspirants in the coaching hub, which draws around 3 lakh students from all over the country

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A day after two more NEET aspirants at Kota allegedly committed suicide, government authorities in Rajasthan on Sunday (August 27) issued orders instructing all coaching institutions there to stop conducting routine tests of students preparing for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) exams for the next two months.

The directive came in the wake of suicides by two NEET aspirants on Sunday (August 27), within a space of four hours, in separate incidents.

Gone too soon

Avishkar Shambaji Kasle, 17, jumped from the sixth floor of his coaching institute's building in Jawahar Nagar around 3.15 pm, minutes after taking a test on the third floor of the institute, police said. The institute’s staff rushed Kasle to a hospital, but he succumbed on the way, Vigyan Nagar Circle Officer (CO) Dharmveer Singh said.

Four hours later, 18-year-old Adarsh Raj, who was also preparing for the competitive exam, hanged himself in his rented flat in Kunhadi police station area at around 7 pm, police said.

When the teen’s sister and cousin reached their flat around 7.30, his room was locked from inside. They broke the room open and found Raj hanging from the ceiling, CO (Kunhadi) KS Rathore said. Raj was reportedly breathing when he was taken down but died on his way to hospital, he said.

A native of Maharashtra's Latur district and a Class 12 student, Kasle was preparing for NEET UG in the city for three years and was living in a rented room in the Talwandi area with his maternal grandparents, CO Singh said, adding that his parents are government school teachers in Maharashtra.

Raj, a native of Bihar’s Rohtas district, had also been preparing for NEET UG in a coaching institute in Kota for a year and was living in a rented 2BHK flat with his sister and cousin, who are also preparing for competitive exams, police said.

No suicide note

According to police, no suicide note was recovered from either of the students’ rooms.

Kasle took a routine test in the noon session on the third floor of the coaching institute and jumped from the sixth floor of the building – around 72 feet down in the backyard – immediately after giving the test, the Vigyan Nagar CO said.

The spiral stairs of the building were not covered and it would be investigated how the teen climbed to the sixth floor amid the presence of staff and other students, he said.

The reason behind Kasle’s suicide is likely to be his low marks in the routine tests at the institute as he was scoring well earlier but dropped from 575 marks to 288 marks in the last routine test, CO Singh said.

Raj, who also took a routine test at his coaching institute in Kunhadi police station area limits in the noon session on Sunday (August 27), was reportedly scoring low marks in the tests and was upset over the same, ASP (Kota city) Bhagwat Singh Hingad said, while speaking to media in the mortuary of MBS Hospital, where the 18-year-old’s body was kept for post-mortem.

22 deaths in 2023

According to government authorities, the hub of coaching draws around 3 lakh NEET and JEE aspirants every year and there have been a steady increase in suicides among them. So far, 22 students preparing for competitive exams in Kota have committed suicide in 2023, the highest for any year, according to district authorities. Last year, the figure was 15.

Kota is a coaching hub in Rajasthan, where students enrol with about 150 coaching institutes to prepare for NEET and JEE exams. NEET and JEE exams are conducted by the Centre every year for admissions to medical and engineering institutions, respectively, run by both the government and the private sector in the country.

(With agency inputs)

(Suicides can be prevented. For help please call Suicide Prevention Helplines: Neha Suicide Prevention Centre – 044-24640050; Aasara helpline for suicide prevention, emotional support & trauma help — +91-9820466726; Kiran, Mental health rehabilitation — 1800-599-0019, Disha 0471- 2552056, Maithri 0484 2540530, and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.)

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