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Suicides in IITs: Need for probe

There is a growing concern over the rise in the number of suicides committed by IIT students. Most of the faculty members in various IITs remain baffled as to what has contributed to such an unsettling trend. That the government has proposed setting up a task force to study the situation and suggest measures to address the issue shows the gravity of the situation.

Internal probe committees set up by various IITs have found depression, academic load, peer pressure, including pressure from family to perform, as the primary reasons that compel some of the students to take the extreme step. Some feel that youngsters these days are extremely ambitious and they cannot accept failure in life. That’s why they decide to end their lives.

In this respect, systemic changes have also been suggested. Former UGC Chairman Prof Yashpal feels that time has come for the IITs to stop being “technical shops”; they should become universities and start teaching all subjects. This would allow students to study a unique combination of subjects. This will reduce pressure that they experience currently in these institutions.

When suicides in premier institutions, like the IITs, show an upward trend, especially in the light of seven suicides already this year, the situation warrants a thorough investigation. The authorities concerned must act before the situation assumes alarming proportions.


Install RO system

This refers to the editorial, “Contaminated water” (September 8). It has been very rightly pointed out that water in Bathinda and Amritsar districts of Punjab is highly contaminated. The use of huge quantities of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides has made water highly toxic in these areas.

In the last two decades, the availability of pure drinking water in rural areas of Punjab has gone from bad to worse. High levels of chemical, biological and radioactive toxicity have been found in water. Besides, the impurities of organic nature, like worms, bacteria, viruses, dissolved salts, and extremely harmful toxic metals, like uranium, mercury, lead, arsenic, antimony etc, make drinking of water extremely hazardous. Such water, if used for drinking purpose, causes serious ailments like neurological diseases, kidney disorder, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, joint pains, skin diseases, mental disorders, and cancer.

It is imperative to take steps to save the people from the hazards of drinking polluted water. There must be water-testing infrastructure set up at the district level, as required under the Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission, to improve the quality of drinking water. Making the available water drinkable requires filtration and purification. These processes are very expensive. However, a simpler method would be to install reverse osmosis system in rural areas for supplying potable water. At the same time wastage of water should be checked at the community level, and recycling of water should be considered seriously.

Dr S K AGGARWAL, Amritsar  College of Engineering and  Technology, Amritsar

Indian hockey

This refers to the editorial, “Infighting takes its toll: India robbed of hosting Champions Trophy” (September 8). It is sad that Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) could not resolve their differences and subsequently, lost the hosting rights of a prestigious international hockey tournament. Sports Minister Ajay Maken had put in sincere efforts to negotiate a solution, but members of HI and the IHF did not oblige for reasons beyond comprehension.

The government must try to end this impasse at the earliest. Otherwise, the state of hockey will decline even further. Under such circumstances the morale of our players will also be affected and their performance may go down.  All these are not healthy signs for the national game. Members of HI and the IHF should realize the importance of lifting the game to the highest standards with the aim of winning gold in the next Olympic Games. They must cooperate and work together to obtain necessary help from the government to achieve the dream goal of the people of India.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Avoidable deaths

Almost every day we come across the news of a road accident in the city. It could be a child crushed to death under a bus. The recent incident of Kanav Aggarwal, a 20-year-old boy, who was crushed under a bus, is still fresh in our memories. The callous drivers of buses and trucks do not care for innocent lives, as they resort to rash driving.

The question arises as to why the government is not doing anything to prevent these accidents, which have been occurring on a regular basis.

It must be kept in mind that there is no end to the sufferings of a victim’s family members. In some cases, the victim turns out to be the only child of his family. The family, in certain cases, might be completely dependent on the victim’s income.

The government needs to wake up to prevent such accidents. The erring drivers should be given exemplary punishment, which would act as a deterrent to others. Civil society should also play its part in preventing accidents by launching a campaign against rash driving in the city.

BINDIYA GOYAL, Lecturer, GNIMT, Ludhiana


The report, “14 killed in road accidents” (September 6), albeit gloomy, hardly comes as a surprise. Bluntly speaking, fatal road accidents seem to have become a matter of common occurrence in the state, earning for it the dubious distinction of touching the topmost slot in the matter among the hill states in the country.

As many as 3,334 persons have died in road mishaps in the last 3 years due to human error/ drunken driving. This was recently revealed on the floor of the state assembly.

In a telling report on the subject, your Palampur correspondent listed the following major causes responsible for fatal road mishaps:

1.Rampant corruption in the state’s traffic police and the Transport Department.

2. Treacherous hilly roads

3. The passing of buses/trucks and other vehicles by motor vehicle inspectors has degenerated into just a formality, as the “rates” are allegedly “fixed” for giving the permits.

4. The inquiry reports about the accidents, by and large, remain confined to files.

The question arises: Would the authorities concerned wake up from their slumber over the matter in the foreseeable future? I have my doubts!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Left-handed geniuses

The middle, “Left is right” (September 1) by Ashok Kumar Yadav, is very interesting, as it raises the issue of being left-handed. It is unfortunate that people often tease left-handed persons as “khabbu”. Most of the parents impulsively force their children to become right-handed. They are unaware of the fact that many great persons in history, like Mahatma Gandhi, Alexander, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, and Leonardo Da Vinci, were left-handed. Some modern icons, such as Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Amitabh Bachchan, and Prince Charles, are also left-handed.

Being lefty does not mean that one has closed the doors of success. I think, in a way, being lefty makes a person different from others, which is not a bad thing at all. It is a matter of how we look at it.




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