A 20-year-old student who was preparing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test died by suicide in Rajasthan’s Kota on Wednesday, reported India Today.

The student, identified as Mohammad Tanveer, was a native of Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj. He was living in Kota with his sister and father.

This is the 26th case of student suicide in Kota this year. The Rajasthan city is home to scores of coaching classes for entrance exams and attracts lakhs of students each year.

Earlier this month, a 17-year-old student died by suicide after she allegedly consumed poison at a coaching institute, reported NDTV. Priyam Singh, from Mau in Uttar Pradesh, had been staying in Kota for a year to prepare for the medical entrance exam.

Meanwhile, three hostel associations in Kota – Chambal Hostel Association, Coral Hostel Association and Kota Hostels Association – have signed a memorandum of understanding with Jai Minesh Tribal University to design special hostel management certificate programs for the hostel wardens and staff, according to PTI.

Under the program, wardens and staff members will be given professional training in mess management, psychological and behavioural counselling, and other aspects of students’ care.

The initiative was taken to deal with the rise in student suicide cases in Kota, said Naveen Mittal, the President of Kota Hostel Association.

Mittal said that more than 2.5 lakh students migrate to Kota every year to prepare for competitive exams like the Joint Entrance Exam and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test. They are put up in the nearly 3,500 hostels in the coaching hub.

“The wardens should know when to act soft, when to act strict, how to efficiently communicate with parents and students...sometimes they complain about students with good intention and student takes stress...sometimes food served is not good...all these issues can be resolved with proper training,” said Mittal.

According to the data available with the police, 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. Coaching institutes were shut in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to tackle the problem, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot earlier this month directed officials to form a committee to suggest measures to prevent suicides of students in Kota.

Gehlot had said that Class 9 and Class 10 students being enrolled in coaching institutes face an additional burden as they also need to appear for their board examinations. Subsequently, the administration in Kota made it compulsory for hostels to install spring-loaded fans in a bid to prevent suicides.