‘Pressure from parents main reason’: SC on rising student suicides

SC was hearing a petition blaming coaching centres for student suicides

Supreme Court Rising Student Suicides Supreme Court | Arvind Jain

Supreme Court on Monday said "intense competition" and "pressure" of parents are the main reasons behind the rising number of suicides across the country.

While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Mumbai-based doctor Aniruddha Narayan Malpani blaming the coaching centres for pressuring students to the point of death, SC said judiciary cannot pass directions in such a scenario.

Refusing to entertain such pleas, a bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti noted that "pressure from parents is behind all these incidents".

"These are not easy things. Pressure from parents is behind all these incidents. More than the children, it is the parents who are putting pressure on them. How can the court pass directions in such a scenario," the bench told advocate Mohini Priya, appearing for the petitioner.

"Although, most of us will not want any coaching institute to be there, but look at the conditions of schools. There is intense competition and students have no other option but to go to these coaching institutes," Khanna was quoted by PTI.

Advocate Priya highlighted that around 8.2 per cent of students in the country die by suicide.

The plea filed by Malpani seeks appropriate directions for regulating the conduct of private coaching institutes coming up across India to train students for competitive exams including IIT-JEE (Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination) and NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test).

"Children as young as 14 years enter these coaching factories often away from their homes and undergo rigorous preparation in the anticipation of getting admission to a good medical or engineering college,” read the petition.

"After being in a protected home environment, the child is suddenly exposed to the harsh competitive world without being mentally equipped to do so. These profit-hungry coaching institutes, however, do not care about student well-being and are only focused on minting money leading to the youth of India being pressurised enough to take their own lives," the petition added.

The petition also said that the children are being made to study in the coaching centres in abnormal conditions which are severely affection their mental health.

"The lackadaisical attitude of the Centre in enacting a law despite the rising number of suicides clearly reflects upon the State's apathy towards protecting these young minds who are the future of our country and their constitutional right to live with dignity guaranteed under Article 21," the plea alleged.

(With PTI inputs)

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