Over 35,000 students died by suicide in the country between 2019 and 2021, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
In response to a question in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing winter session of Parliament, Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Abbaiah Narayanaswamy said the total reported cases of death by suicide rose to 35,000 according to data collected by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). However, there is no data on suicides owing to social discrimination in the country.
"(There is) no information regarding the number of SC, ST students who committed suicides due to the social discrimination in the country," Abbaiah Narayanaswamy said.
The data shows a concerning rise in student suicides over the three years, with the numbers escalating from 10,335 in 2019 to 12,526 in 2020 and reaching 13,089 in 2021.
Responding further to the query on what steps have been taken in the country to prevent social discrimination, Narayanaswamy said that the department of higher education has established counseling cells and various mechanisms such as SC/ST students’ cells, equal opportunity cells, students’ grievance cells, students’ grievance committee, and liaison officers in educational institutions across the country.
Further, Over 13,600 reserved category students dropped out from central universities, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) over the last five years, Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
Providing insight into the factors contributing to dropouts, Union Minister of State for Education, Subhas Sarkar explained, “In the higher education sector, students have multiple options and they choose to migrate across institutions and from one course/programme to another in the same institution.”
The minister clarified that National Law Universities (NLUs) operate under Acts enacted by respective state legislatures, classifying them as state universities. As a result, the central government does not maintain data on dropout students from NLUs.
(With inputs from agencies)