IIT Kanpur Introduces Counseling Services And Welfare Initiatives In Wake Of Student Suicides

IIT Kanpur Introduces Counseling Services And Welfare Initiatives In Wake Of Student Suicides

The Institute has also released a series welfare initiative to help the students.

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 12:55 PM IST
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IIT Kanpur | Representational Image

After the recent unfortunate suicides, IIT Kanpur has enhanced its Counseling Service by recruiting more professionals, such as extra counselors and hostel managers, to address the medical requirements of the students. They have also released a series welfare initiative to help the students.

The institution houses the Institute Counselling Service (ICS), which consists of six clinical psychologists and a team of student volunteers and faculty advisors. Additionally, the institute is associated with three accredited psychiatrists who visit the campus weekly to attend to students in need of medication.

Welfare initiatives by the Institute

The institute has started additional welfare initiatives for the students which include the following:

Strengthening the PG Core Counselling team to respond faster and also provide individualized mental health support to students.

Regular discussions at the department levels to identify issues of academic stress, isolation and other difficulties faced by the students. These will help in addressing any issues being faced by the students at an early stage.

Senior PG students will hand-hold new students to ease the transition and reduce any feeling of alienation.

A faculty guide will keep informal channels of communication open for non-academic matters and help to foster a supportive environment outside academia.

Interactive hostel-level events will keep students engaged in a positive and interactive environment and build community support.

Mental health awareness programs will be conducted for every semester.

Additional measures

Furthermore, a review panel consisting of five members has been established. The panel's responsibility is to handle and resolve student issues promptly and with a compassionate attitude towards student concerns. The panel has already received input from various departments following their interactions with students during the Open House. Additionally, the panel is gathering feedback from alumni and other stakeholders, and will provide specific recommendations to the administration, Senate, or the Board through the relevant channels.

Over the past year, the institute has implemented academic changes, particularly for postgraduate students, aimed at improving their educational experience and providing support throughout their learning process. These changes consist of a more flexible PhD program with year-round admissions, increased financial aid for PhD students, a reduction in mandatory PhD courses from six to four, the establishment of a committee to regularly advise PhD students, faster thesis processing within three months compared to the previous six months, and the opportunity for PhD students to exit the program with a Master of Science degree.

Other steps include a streamlined post-graduate admission process, freedom of choice between a thesis or a project in the MTech program, English language learning and more.

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