The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has suspended a professor after an inquiry report found him responsible for a student’s suicide, PTI reported.
The student, a 31-year-old PhD scholar named Sachin Kumar Jain, was found dead inside his room on March 31. He was pursuing a doctorate under the guidance of Ashish Kumar Sen, a professor in the institute’s mechanical engineering department.
Before his death, Sachin had posted a WhatsApp status saying: “I am sorry, not good enough.”
The student’s brother, Bhavesh Jain, wrote a six-page letter to the director of the IIT-Madras, alleging that he was under “undue pressure” from Sen, The News Minute reported.
He alleged that Sachin was often reprimanded and overloaded with work, even though Sen knew that he was on medication for mental health challenges. “Sachin decided to take his own life after the inhuman treatment meted out to him by his PhD guide,” the letter read.
The suicide had sparked protests on the campus, with students demanding action against Sen. The institute ordered an inquiry by a five-member committee comprising a former director general of police, two former Indian Administrative Service officers, a professor, and a student representative.
The committee concluded that Sen was responsible for Sachin’s suicide.
Voice of Students of IIT-M, a student body, congratulated the institute’s administration for “such a strong and courageous action against one of their peers.” It added: “This is a victory to many students who came together for the protests following Sachin’s suicide.”