119 medical students died by suicide in last 5 years, over 1,000 dropped out: RTI reply

The NMC did not provide any data on the number of medical college ragging cases and actions taken by the commission.

119 medical students died by suicide in last 5 years, over 1,000 dropped out: RTI reply Number of medical students died by suicide. (Representative image: Shutterstock)
Anu Parthiban | Feb 27, 2023 - 12:50 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: As the recent deaths of medical and engineering students on campus is sending shock waves across the country, an RTI reply revealed that 64 MBBS and 55 postgraduate medicos died by suicide in the last 5 years.

Vivek Pandey, a social and political activist, filed an RTI seeking details on number of medical students died by suicide and number of students who left college in the last five years. As per the reply by the National Medical Commission (NMC), a total of 1,166 students dropped out of medical colleges. Of which 160 were studying MBBS and 956 were pursuing postgraduate courses.

The activist had in July last year sought information regarding the number of ragging cases reported to NMC till July 2022 and details of action taken by the commission. However, the NMC did not provide any data on the medical college ragging cases.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB report 2021) showed that the number of student suicides in India has risen by 27% in the past five years from 2016 to 2021.

In September 2022, the NMC had formed an anti-ragging committee to resolve complaints forwarded by anti-ragging committees of different medical colleges. The members were instructed to meet once every month to take up the ragging complaints and undertake an independent enquiry.

Also read | Rage On Campus: Why ragging persists in medical and dental colleges in India

The following month, the commission had also asked the anti-ragging committee headed by Aruna V Vanikar, president of Undergraduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB), to submit reports on number of medical students who died by suicide, gave resignation along with the working hours and weekly off given to medical students for the last five years.

After the issue of mental health of medical students was flagged in various media reports and raised in the Parliament, the NMC urged colleges to ensure that medicos get adequate rest, weekly offs, counselling, and sanctioned leave.

MBBS: Number of dropouts

Here's the list of course-wise number of medical students dropped out in the last 5 years.

Medical course

Number of drop out



PG (MS General Surgery)


PG (MS Orthopaedics)






PG (MD General medicine)


PG (MD Paediatrics)


Other courses




The University Grants Commission (UGC) defines ragging as “any act of physical or mental abuse (including bullying and exclusion) targeted at another student (fresher or otherwise) on the ground of colour, race, religion, caste, ethnicity, gender (including transgender), sexual orientation, appearance, nationality, regional origins, linguistic identity, place of birth, place of residence or economic background.”

The minister of state (MoS) for education Annapurna Devi earlier in 2022 told the Parliament that from 2018 to December 10, 2021, the UGC received 2,790 complaints of ragging. “A total of 620 students were suspended and 17 were rusticated”. However, a section of medical students feel that there are more ragging cases than official statistics show.

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