Kota Student Suicides: SC Claims That Parents Are To Blame, Not Coaching Centers

Kota Student Suicides: SC Claims That Parents Are To Blame, Not Coaching Centers

Kota Student Suicides: SC Claims That Parents Are To Blame, Not Coaching Centers

On 20 November, Monday, the Supreme Court was hearing a PIL launched by Aniruddha Narayan Malpani, a doctor based in Mumbai. According to him, coaching centres used the students as “commodities” and worked them to the point that they found themselves driven to their deaths, all for the institute’s selfish gains. His appeal sought the regulation of private coaching institutes for this reason.

During the hearing, the petition brought to the attention of the court, “Student suicides is a grave human rights concern”. It further added, “the lackadaisical attitude of the Centre in enacting a law despite the rising number of suicides reflects upon 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 petition that was argued by Advocate Mohini Priya said that the suicides in Kota might be the ones making headlines, but that doesn’t change that all private coaching centres in the country are the same, and no laws or regulations are holding these institutions accountable. Reminding the court about the market size of the coaching business in India, which is about 5,000 Crore rupees, the petition added “An individual student has now become merely a product in the hands of the coaching institutes” It continued to say, “Education is being commercialized and in the absence of proper regulation, the students are being exploited.” The petition further added that the kind of pressure put on students increases because they are forced to be disconnected from society, and even their parents.

The Supreme Court clearly stated that the coaching institutes are not to blame for the increasing suicide rates. It is the parents who are at fault for having extremely high expectations from their children who are preparing for entrance at coaching centres, such as those in Rajasthan’s Kota, where frequent student suicides are witnessed.

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Coaching institutes in Kota cannot be blamed. It is parents putting undue pressure on their children in a highly competitive environment which is leading to students ending their lives, stated the division bench, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, also consisting of SVN Bhatti. The Supreme Court also said that the number of deaths could be much higher than it currently is. The court commented on the nature of these exams, saying exams have become very competitive, and there are a lot of expectations from parents. Students are losing out by half a mark or one mark in such exams and are not able to cope with the pressure.”

The bench added “Although most of us will not want any coaching institute to be there, look at the conditions of schools. There is intense competition and students have no other option but to go to these coaching institutes.” However, the bench brought to attention that this PIL is a policy issue and “we cannot direct states to form a policy. The court suggested that the petition should be taken to the Rajasthan High Court as the incidents cited in the petition are largely based in Kota district, or to the Central government. The petitioner withdrew the Public Interest Litigation with the Court’s permission. The Counsel in the case has confirmed that the petitioner will be approaching the government with this matter.

The Rajasthan Government recently introduced two laws: the Rajasthan Coaching Institutes (Control and Regulation) Bill, 2023 and the Rajasthan Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority Bill, 2023. These were launched to regulate the functioning of private coaching institutes. Yet to become laws, these aim to monitor the costs of study materials and other charges that these institutes levy.

Suicide Helpline: 9152987821 (iCALL)

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