IIT Delhi MTech student found dead in Dronagiri hostel; fifth IIT suicide this year

The second-year MTech student has a strong academic record and a job. 2024 had already seen suicides in IIT Kanpur, IIT Roorkee, IIT BHU.

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IIT Delhi MTech student dies in suspected suicide. (Representational Image: IIT Delhi Official Website)IIT Delhi MTech student dies in suspected suicide. (Representational Image: IIT Delhi Official Website)

Sheena Sachdeva | February 16, 2024 | 10:35 AM IST

NEW DELHI: A second-year MTech student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi was found dead in Dronagiri hostel on the night of February 15. According to his LinkedIn profile, the student was studying polymer science and technology from 2022.

In an email to students, dean student affairs said: “With a very heavy heart, it is our unfortunate duty to inform you of the tragic and untimely demise of our M Tech student Varad Sanjay Nerkar (2022MSP2521), a resident of Dronagiri hostel.”

The email added that the student was “found hanging in his room, which was locked from inside”. Police officials have taken the student’s body into custody.

The mail further added that the student is from Nashik, Maharashtra. “His family is expected to arrive from Nashik today (February 16),” it stated.

Had strong academic record, job

The student spoke with his parents around evening and last he spoke with his friend before meeting his guide, a student who didn't want to be named told Careers360. According to another IIT Delhi student who knew him, Nerkar’s grade was a respectable 8.8 and he had even secured a job with a major information technology company through the IIT Delhi placements.

This is the first student death at IIT Delhi this year but three student deaths have already been reported, including two from Dalit communities. IIT Kanpur reported two suicides last month with reasons of academic pressure.

IIT Roorkee also reported a student suicide recently on February 13 and IIT-BHU before that.

"123 IIT students have died by suicide in last 19 years. IITs need to reduce preventable students’ suicides. IITs have chronically 34% higher suicide death rate compared to other colleges in India and abroad with similar annual budget spend per student. Government being the principal funder of IITs must bring about a serious policy response to remedy the mental health crisis in premier institutes," said Dheeraj Singh, an IIT and IIM alumnus and working on suicide prevention in higher education.

Correction: An earlier version of the story said there have been four suicides in the IITs this year. There have been five. The copy has now been corrected.

If you know someone – friend or family member – at risk of suicide, please reach out to them. Those in distress or having suicidal thoughts or tendencies could seek help and counselling by calling 9820466726 or visiting AASRA’s official website or can call iCALL on 9152987821. Here are some more helpline numbers of suicide prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.

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