(Trigger warning: Descriptions of suicide. Reader discretion advised.)
An 18-year-old JEE aspirant, Niharika Solanki, died by suicide in Kota on Monday, 29 January. Solanki hailed from Kota’s Borkheda and was supposed to appear for the exam on 31 January.
In a purported suicide note left behind by Solanki, she wrote, “Mummy papa I can’t do JEE so I suicide. I am loser. I worst daughter. Sorry mummy, papa. Yahi last option he. (This is the last option.)”
What we know: Kota’s Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dharamveer Singh, said that Solanki was living with her parents.
Solanki, who had completed her class 12, was the eldest of three siblings. According to reports, her father is a security guard at a bank.
The police are investigating the case and will be conducting a postmortem.
Not the first case this year: Mohammad Zaidi, another aspirant who hailed from Moradabad, died by suicide on 23 January. The 18-year-old was a student at a private coaching institute in Kota.
The bigger picture: At least 29 students died by suicide in Kota – Rajasthan’s infamous coaching factory – in 2023 alone.
Earlier in January, the Union Ministry of Education proposed Guidelines for Regulation of Coaching Centre 2024 to bring coaching institutes under a legal framework and address the growing number of “unregulated centers,” amid the increasing number of student suicides. The Centre suggested:
Coaching centres cannot enrol students below 16 years of age, or students who have not yet qualified their secondary school examinations.
Coaching institutes cannot make “misleading promises or guarantee of rank or good marks.”
Only coaching institutes that have a “counselling system” in place can get registered.