A Cry for Students’ Help, A Call for Reflection and Action


05:35 AM

1 min read

Why in News?

  • The current socio-academic landscape in India is facing challenges, particularly concerning the well-being of its students.
  • The amalgamation of socio-economic shifts and academic pressures has led to a distressing trend of student suicides, notably highlighted in instances such as the tragic fate of a teenager in Kota, Rajasthan.
  • As a result, the multifaceted issues plaguing India's education system, factors contributing to student stress, institutional responses, societal expectations, and the urgent need for reform need to be explored and implemented.

Factors Contributing to Pressure in Academic Pursuit and Students Suicide in Kota

  • High-Stakes Examinations
    • Entrance examinations like the JEE and NEET are pivotal events in a student's academic journey, with success or failure carrying significant consequences.
    • The intense competition and pressure to perform well in these exams often result in heightened levels of stress and anxiety among students.
    • The fear of not meeting societal expectations or failing to secure admission to prestigious institutions can drive students to extreme measures, including suicide.
  • Parental and Societal Expectations
    • India's education system is characterised by a culture of academic achievement, where success is often equated with social status and financial stability.
    • Parents, influenced by societal norms, place immense pressure on their children to excel academically, sometimes at the expense of their mental health and well-being.
    • The relentless pursuit of academic excellence, coupled with the fear of disappointing parents or society, can weigh heavily on students, exacerbating feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness.
  • Limited Opportunities and High Competition
    • The scarcity of seats in top-tier educational institutions and the highly competitive nature of the job market further compound the challenges faced by students.
    • With a vast pool of aspirants vying for a limited number of opportunities, the fear of failure looms large, intensifying the pressure to succeed.
    • Students from marginalised backgrounds, lacking access to resources and support systems, are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of this competitive environment.
  • Cultural Stigma Surrounding Failure
    • In Indian society, there exists a pervasive stigma associated with failure, particularly in academic endeavours.
    • Students who struggle academically or fail to meet parental expectations may face ridicule, shame, or ostracization from their families and communities.
    • This fear of judgment and social exclusion can deter students from seeking help or expressing their struggles, leading to feelings of isolation and despair.
  • Lack of Emotional Support and Mental Health Resources
    • Despite the growing awareness of mental health issues, there remains a significant gap in access to emotional support and mental health resources for students in India.
    • Many educational institutions lack adequate counselling services or trained professionals to address the psychological needs of students.
    • The stigma surrounding mental health further complicates matters, as students may hesitate to seek help for fear of being labelled as weak or unstable.
  • Inequities in Access to Education
    • Socio-economic disparities exacerbate the challenges faced by students, with marginalised communities disproportionately affected by the lack of access to quality education and resources.
    • Students from lower-income backgrounds may face additional stressors, such as financial insecurity, inadequate infrastructure, and limited educational opportunities, further increasing their vulnerability to mental health issues and suicide.

Response Measures Undertaken by Institutions in Kota

  • Anti-Suicide Features in Hostels
    • Coaching institutes and hostels in Kota have installed "anti-suicide features" to prevent self-harm incidents among students.
    • These features may include devices attached to ceiling fans to prevent hanging attempts, as well as iron grills across balconies and passageways to restrict access to potentially dangerous areas.
    • These physical interventions aim to provide a safer living environment for students and minimise the risk of suicide attempts.
  • Training Programs for Hostel Staff
    • Recognising the crucial role of hostel staff in supporting student welfare, institutions in Kota have initiated training programs to equip staff members with the necessary skills and resources to address the mental health needs of students.
    • Training may include workshops on identifying signs of distress, providing psychological support, and intervening in crisis situations effectively.
  • Temporary Suspension of Routine Testing
    • In a proactive measure to alleviate academic stress, the local government in Kota has temporarily suspended routine testing in coaching institutes for over two months.
    • This temporary pause allows students to focus on their well-being without the added pressure of constant assessments and exams, providing a much-needed respite from academic demands.
  • Specialised Training for Staff
    • In addition to addressing immediate safety concerns, institutions in Kota are prioritising the holistic well-being of students through specialised training programs for staff members.
    • This training may encompass various aspects of student welfare, including mess administration, psychological support, behavioural counselling, and overall student supervision.
    • By equipping staff with the necessary skills and knowledge, institutions aim to create a supportive and nurturing environment conducive to academic success and personal growth.
  • Community Engagement and Awareness Campaigns
    • The Kota police have actively engaged with hostel wardens and kitchen staff to promote awareness of student welfare issues and encourage proactive intervention.
    • Campaigns such as "darwazepe dastak (knock on the door)" emphasise the importance of vigilant monitoring and timely intervention to prevent potential crises.
    • By creating a sense of community responsibility, these initiatives aim to create a culture of support and collaboration in safeguarding student well-being.

Ways Ahead to Ease Pressure and Safeguard the Future of Younger Generation

  • Comprehensive Reform
    • Addressing the systemic issues within the education system requires comprehensive reform efforts that encompass academic, social, and institutional dimensions.
    • Policies and initiatives should prioritize mental health support, promote holistic learning experiences, and mitigate the pressures associated with high-stakes examinations.
  • Community Engagement
    • Collaboration between educational institutions, government agencies, community organisations, and families is essential in creating a supportive ecosystem that nurtures the well-being of students.
    • Community engagement initiatives, awareness campaigns, and advocacy efforts can help destigmatize mental health issues and foster a culture of support and empathy.
  • Emphasis on Student Welfare
    • Institutions must prioritise student welfare and implement proactive measures to address mental health challenges effectively.
    • This includes investing in specialised training for staff, implementing safety protocols, providing access to counselling services, and fostering a supportive peer network within educational settings.
  • Promotion of Holistic Development
    • Beyond academic achievement, the education system should prioritise the holistic development of students, including their social, emotional, and physical well-being.
    • Encouraging participation in extracurricular activities, promoting work-life balance, and fostering a culture of creativity and self-expression are integral to nurturing well-rounded individuals.
  • Empowerment and Inclusivity
    • Efforts to reform the education system must prioritise the empowerment and inclusion of marginalised communities, ensuring equitable access to educational resources and opportunities.
    • Addressing socio-economic disparities, promoting diversity, and fostering a culture of inclusivity are essential for creating a more equitable and just society.


  • The prevailing challenges in India's education system necessitate urgent reform to address the mental health and well-being of its students.
  • Efforts must be directed towards creating a supportive and inclusive academic environment that prioritises holistic development over narrow academic pursuits.
  • Only through concerted efforts at both institutional and societal levels can India ensure the nurturing of its students and safeguard their future.

Q) How does academic pressure impact students in India?

Academic pressure in India can have profound effects on students, including heightened stress levels, anxiety disorders, and even depression. The pressure to excel in examinations, secure admission to prestigious institutions, and meet societal expectations often leads to burnout and mental health issues among students.

Q) What are some strategies to cope with academic pressure in India?

To cope with academic pressure, students in India can adopt various strategies, including effective time management, seeking support from mentors or counsellors, practising mindfulness techniques, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and cultivating hobbies to alleviate stress. Additionally, fostering a supportive environment where academic achievements are not solely equated with success can help alleviate the burden on students.

Source: The Hindu