IIT Madras professor Ashis Kumar Sen suspended over PhD scholar Sachin Jain’s suicide: Students body

Move to oust Ashis Sen, IIT Madras, was taken after the inquiry committee submitted report

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Student bodies of IIT Madras held massive protests in April after Jain’s brother alleged that the behaviour of his supervisor Sen had worsened the PhD student’s mental health. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)Student bodies of IIT Madras held massive protests in April after Jain’s brother alleged that the behaviour of his supervisor Sen had worsened the PhD student’s mental health. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Sheena Sachdeva | November 28, 2023 | 02:45 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has suspended its faculty member Ashis Kumar Sen over the March 31 suicide of PhD scholar Sachin Jain, the students body of the institute said. Ashis Sen was the supervisor of the doctoral student. “The decision was taken after the inquiry committee headed by retired IPS officer G Thilakavathi submitted its investigation report,” stated a statement by the students body. The committee was formulated in April after Jain was found dead at his residence in Velachery, Chennai.

This was revealed on November 27 on the X (formerly Twitter) account of Voice of IIT Madras which stated , “Even though IIT Madras has not made any official statement, we have received confirmation from some faculty members that Prof Sen was suspended after the report was discussed in multiple Senate and Board of Governors meetings.”

A student, on conditions of anonymity, said: “It is speculated that the information about Sen’s suspension was shared with the students body on Friday after the exams were over.”

Also Read | ‘JEE Advanced rank is just an integer’: IIT Madras director on Zanzibar campus, suicides, sports quota

IIT Madras: Protests and suicides

Student bodies of IIT Madras held massive protests in April after Jain’s brother alleged that the behaviour of his supervisor had worsened the PhD student’s mental health. Jain had reportedly died by suicide after putting up a WhatsApp status which said, “I am sorry, not good enough”. His body was found the same day, reported Chintabar, a student collective of IIT Madras. The students demanded immediate suspension of Sen.

IIT Madras has overall reported four cases of students suicide within this year. Between July and September, two students suicides were also reported at IIT Delhi. Till March, 6 student suicides have been reported across IITs and NITs, and 61 students suicided across IITs, NITs and IIMs.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help, AASRA has a list of resources here: http://www.aasra.info/helpline.html

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