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Anu Parthiban|Feb 2, 2023
New Delhi: As many as 24 cases of suicides by students of central universities were reported since 2017, Union Minister of State for Education Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said in Lok Sabha on Monday. The minister also said the central government and the University Grants Commission (UGC) have taken several initiatives to check the incidents of harassment and discrimination against students.
"The UGC has informed that the central universities under its purview have reported 24 suicide cases of students from the year 2017 to 2022. The reasons of suicide by students are not maintained," he said during Question Hour.
Singh said the UGC has further informed that two suicide cases of students have been reported by Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, in November, 2018 and October, 2021. The said university is a state private university.
"The University Grants Commission (Redressal of Grievances of Students) Regulations, 2019 have been formulated to safeguard the interests of the students. The UGC has also notified UGC Regulations on Curbing the Menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions, 2009 and issued circulars for strict compliance of the Regulations," he said.
Further, Singh said, the ministry has undertaken various steps such as peer assisted learning, introduction of technical education in regional languages for students in order to ease the academic stress. He said the central government initiative, named MANODARPAN, covers a wide range of activities to provide psychological support to students, teachers and families for mental and emotional well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.
In addition, the minister said, institutions conduct workshops and seminars on happiness and wellness, regular sessions on yoga, induction programs, extracurricular activities including sports and cultural activities and appointment of student counsellors for overall personality development and de-stressing students.
Further, students, wardens and caretakers are sensitised to bring to notice the signs of depression in fellow students to the authorities so that timely clinical consultation may be provided, he said. After the minister's reply, BSP member Danish Ali protested in the House claiming that he did not get a proper answer on his supplementary regarding suicides in private universities in the country.
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