M A I N   N E W S

Failed IIT student commits suicide
Classmates allege faulty grading system
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, May 31
Barely hours before the annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, a final year student hanged herself from her hostel room fan after failing to qualify in two papers in her B.Tech (Biological Sciences) examination.

Confirming the death of 22-year-old Toya Chatterjee, SSP Ashok Kumar Singh said her body had been sent for the postmortem after which it would be handed over to her family. A committee, comprising senior professors of the institution, has been constituted to probe into the matter.

Hailing from Kolkata, Toya was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her hostel room by her father Kunal Chatterjee last night, assistant registrar K.V. Satyamurthi said today.

Apparently, she had not informed her parents of her not qualifying the final examination. The father had arrived in Kanpur yesterday to attend the convocation ceremony thinking his daughter would receive the degree.

Toya's father, who was staying at a hotel in the city, found his daughter dead in her room when he came to meet her last night, informed the SSP.

A suicide note recovered from her room read, “Papa, I failed in two subjects but did not inform you about this. I won't be able to receive the degree this convocation since I could not pass. I am ashamed. Please take care of mummy”. Describing her as a brilliant student, her classmate Shikha said she had cleared the entrance examination of all IIMs in the country.

Blaming the grading system in the IIT for delivering shocking results that students cannot handle and resort to such extreme steps, many students interviewed by a local news channel expected the institute to consider modifying this system. Undeterred by the tragic turn of events, the institute today conferred degrees on 994 students of various courses during the 40th annual convocation ceremony here.

Prof Shin Choon Fong, director, National University of Singapore, gave the convocation address.



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