IIT suicides: Ensure zero tolerance for discrimination on campuses, says Union edu min Pradhan

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Dharmendra Pradhan | Photo: PTI

Bhubaneswar: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan called for the complete eradication of social discrimination from campuses of educational institutions.

Chairing the 55th IIT Council meeting here on Tuesday, he said students of Indian Institute of Technology must aspire to become job creators rather than job seekers.

"There should be no social discrimination in any institute, be it IITs or private institutions. It is the responsibility of the authorities and the students to ensure that there is no discrimination on campuses," he told reporters after the meeting.

With 34 students of various IITs dying by suicide over the last five years, he called upon the directors to be proactive in providing all kinds of support and develop and robust mechanism to ensure "zero tolerance" for discrimination on campuses.

The council discussed steps needed to ensure mental health wellness among students. It focussed on the need for a robust grievance redressal system, increasing psychological counselling, reducing pressure and highlighting the importance of reducing fear of failure or rejection among students.

IIT-Gandhinagar director Rajat Moona presented the possible underlying societal, psychological and other health issues behind depression among students. The reasons for student drop-out were also discussed in the council meeting.

Pradhan said IITs should be the primary vehicle for public welfare and become a catalyst for the multi-fold development of the country. He said the R&D (research and development) fair should be an annual event on fixed dates, and must be open to students from across the country.

The council also discussed ways to fill vacancies at the earliest under the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Act, 2019. PTI

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