16-year-old JEE aspirant found dead in Rajasthan’s Kota; suicide suspected | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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16-year-old JEE aspirant found dead in Rajasthan’s Kota; suicide suspected

Mar 09, 2024 01:46 AM IST

In a note he purportedly left for his father, the teenager said he was unable to pursue the Joint Entrance Examination preparatory course

A 16-year-old student preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admissions to undergraduate engineering courses allegedly died by suicide in Rajasthan’s Kota district on Thursday night. In a note he purportedly left for his father, the teenager said he was unable to pursue the preparatory course, police said on Friday.

Police said the teenager was studying in Kota for the past year. (Getty Images/Representative)
Police said the teenager was studying in Kota for the past year. (Getty Images/Representative)

Read here: JEE aspirant who went missing from Kota hostel found in Dharamshala

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This is the fifth such death in the coaching hub this year. Last year, 27 students, preparing for various competitive examinations, died by suicide in Kota.

Satish Chandra, a local police officer, said the 16-year-old student from Bihar’s Bhagalpur consumed poison in his room in a paying guest accommodation. “His landlord last saw him on Wednesday night. When he did not open his door the entire day, the landlord knocked but there was no response following which he informed the police who later discovered his body,” Chandra said.

Deputy police superintendent Dharamveer Singh said the teenager was studying in Kota for the past year. “He skipped a couple of class tests at his coaching centre last month. His attendance in the regular classes seems quite regular. But he was not taking the exams.”

Singh said the teenager’s body had been sent for an autopsy. “An FSL [Forensic Science Lab] team was also sent to the spot. We are probing whether there were any other behavioural changes. Further investigation is underway,” Singh said.

Kota is the centre of India’s test-prep business, estimated to be worth 10,000 crore annually. Students from around the country arrive in Kota after completing Class 10 and register at residential institutes there.

According to police data, 15 students died by suicide in Kota in 2022, 18 in 2019, 20 in 2018, seven in 2017, 17 in 2016, and 18 in 2015. No suicides were reported in 2020 and 2021 as coaching institutes were shut or ran in online mode due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read here: Kota sets up panel to monitor execution of guidelines in hostels

Amid a surge in suicides last year, the district administration on August 18 ordered all hostels to provide students support and security. On September 28, the Rajasthan government announced a series of measures such as a mandatory screening test to prevent suicides.

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