Human Rights Issues

Express View on student suicides: After Niharika

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : na

Mains level : the societal issues leading to student suicides

Insights into Editorial: Preventing student suicides - INSIGHTSIAS

Central Idea:

The article highlights the alarming increase in student suicides, particularly in Kota, as a consequence of the intense pressure and expectations associated with high-stakes competitive exams such as JEE and NEET. It emphasizes the need for a collective effort from parents, teachers, institutions, and policymakers to address the underlying issues leading to these tragic outcomes.

Key Highlights:

  • Kota witnessed 29 student suicides in coaching centers last year, reflecting the profound toll of competitive exam stress.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau’s 2022 report revealed that students and the unemployed constituted a significant portion of total suicides.
  • The article points to a deeper societal issue originating in parental ambitions and culminating in high-pressure attempts to secure seats in prestigious institutions.
  • The cost of such aspirations includes prolonged study hours, loneliness, and relentless pressure on young individuals.

Key Challenges:

  • A societal emphasis on unrealistic goals and expectations from parents can lead to severe mental health issues among students.
  • The pressure to succeed in competitive exams contributes to anxiety and desperation among the youth.

Key Terms:

  • JEE: Joint Entrance Examination.
  • NEET: National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.

Key Phrases:

  • “Disquieting spike in student deaths.”
  • “Cost of aspiration: interminable hours of studying, loneliness, and unrelenting pressure.”
  • “Recognizing potential as a gesture of confidence or a source of despair.”

Key Quotes:

  • “The future need not be one of anxiety and duress, of expectations so onerous that they become the sole metric of achievement.”
  • “Change requires everyone to own responsibility, a conscious effort to open up minds, and rethink ways of seeing.”

Key Statements:

  • “The article highlights the alarming increase in student suicides, particularly in Kota, as a consequence of the intense pressure and expectations associated with high-stakes competitive exams.”
  • “The future need not be one of anxiety and duress.”

Key Examples and References:

  • The case of Niharika Solanki, an 18-year-old student who died by suicide in Kota.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau’s 2022 annual report.

Key Facts and Data:

  • Kota witnessed 29 student suicides in coaching centers last year.
  • Students and the unemployed constituted 7.6% and 9.2% of total suicides, respectively.

Critical Analysis:

  • The article effectively points out the societal issues leading to student suicides but does not delve deeply into specific solutions or policy recommendations.
  • There is an implicit call for a more compassionate and realistic approach to education and societal expectations.

Way Forward:

  • A collective effort is needed from parents, teachers, institutions, and policymakers to address the root causes of student stress and suicides.
  • There is a necessity to redefine success and achievement, focusing on holistic development rather than narrow metrics.
  • Encouraging open conversations about mental health and providing adequate support systems can contribute to a more balanced and compassionate educational environment.

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