Amid rising suicide cases among students in Rajasthan's Kota, the district administration has issued directions staying tests and examinations at coaching centres for two months with immediate effect.
The Kota district administration, citing the need for mental support, stayed the tests and examinations for two months.
"In order to provide mental support and security to the studying/residential students, the examinations, being conducted from time to time, in all coaching institutes operating in Kota, have been stayed with immediate effect for the next two months," read an official release by the district administration on Sunday.
The order came on the heels of a NEET (National Eligibility and Entrance Test) aspirant allegedly dying by suicide on Sunday, marking the 23rd such case this year.
According to the police, the 16-year-old student, who was preparing for NEET for admission to an undergraduate medical course, allegedly took his own life at a coaching institute in Kota on Sunday.
The student, identified as Avishkar from Maharashtra, died after jumping from the 6th floor of the building.
"He was 16 years old and was preparing for NEET. He was a student of class 12 and was living with his maternal grandparents. He jumped off the 6th floor (of his coaching institute). We have sent his body for post-mortem," Dharmveer Singh, the deputy superintendent of police in Kota told the reporters here.
The police informed that the 16-year-old took the extreme step after appearing for a scheduled weekly test.
"He killed himself barely five minutes after getting out of the examination hall. The body was sent to the district medical college hospital for an autopsy and a forensic science laboratory (FSL) team was sent to the spot to collect samples. His parents were also informed of his death," Singh added.
Earlier this month, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot formed a committee to probe rising suicide cases among students, asking it to submit its report at the earliest.
Earlier, citing data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data on student suicides, CM Gehlot said, "According to NCRB, around 13,000 students died by suicide in 2021. Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of suicides at 1,834, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 1,308, Tamil Nadu at 1,246, Karnataka at 855 and Odisha at 834. This is a problem which could be solved only through a collective effort."
An official release stated that the state government was "serious and sensitive" towards the issue of student deaths.
Amid concerns around the mental health of students at Kota, the district administration, in a controversial approach to deal with the problem, ordered the installation of spring-loaded fans in all rooms "to provide students mental support and security".
Expressing concern over rising student deaths in Kota, Gehlot earlier sought to underline the burden being put on students of standards 9 and 10 by enrolling them at coaching institutes in Kota.
"Enrolling students of classes 9 and 10 at our coaching institutes puts an additional burden on them, as they also have to appear for their board exams. In a way, this is a crime," the CM said.