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‘Low Attendance’ Pressure – IIT Madras Student Commits Suicide

A 23-year-old final year student of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras allegedly committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling of his hostel room.

According to the police, Shahul Kornath (23), from Malappuram in Kerala, was pursuing his B Tech-M Tech (dual degree) Naval architecture programme. He committed suicide because of an attendance lack and fears of not being allowed to take up final examinations.

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IIT Madras Student Commits Suicide due to low attendence pressure

Police found no suicide note from his room. However, they suspected that he could have been under “some kind of pressure due to low attendance”, but added that a detailed probe was on.

Preliminary investigations revealed that IIT Madras had intimated Kormath’s parents about the attendance lack, which resulted in Kormath being chided by family members. It is learned that Kormath’s brother, Fazil has told police that Kormath did not answer his calls on Friday.

Kormath, a postgraduate student, pursuing Ocean Engineering was staying in a single occupancy room in one of IIT Madras’ hostels. Fellow hostelites became suspicious after Kormath did not open his door on Saturday morning and informed the hostel warden. When Kotturpuram police broke open Kormath’s door, they found him hanging from a noose fastened to the ceiling fan.

Kormath’s body was taken to the Royapettah Government Hospital for autopsy and police have registered a case under section 174 of CrPC (Unnatural death). On being informed, his brother was coming to Chennai from Bengaluru to receive the body.

The news of Shahal’s death came as a rude shock to his family and friends here. They believe depression due to workload may have led him to commit suicide. The institute mourned the student’s death as an “irreparable loss”.

“This is indeed an irreparable loss to not just the institute and the family, but society as a whole. May his soul rest in peace,” it said in a statement, adding that it was cooperating with the authorities on the matter.

Rules of Attendance in IIT Madras:

Every teaching staff member handling a class will take attendance till the last instructional day in the Semester. The percentage of attendance, calculated up to this point, will be indicated by a letter code as follows:

A student who has an attendance lower than 85%, whatever may be the reason for the shortfall in attendance, will not be permitted to appear in the end¬semester examination of the course in which the shortfall exists.

His/her registration for that course will be treated as canceled, and he/she shall be awarded ‘W’ grade (W stands for registration canceled 19 for want of minimum attendance) in that subject.

This grade shall appear in the grade card until the course is successfully completed. In the case of a core course, the student should register for and repeat the course when it is offered next. R.14.3 The teacher handling a course must finalize the attendance 3 calendar days before the last instructional day of the course in the semester.

The particulars of all students who have attended less than 85% in that course must be announced in the class by the teacher himself/ herself. Copies of the same should be sent to the Dean, Academic Courses and Heads of Departments concerned.

Students who get less than 85% should not be permitted to sit for the end¬semester exam without the permission of the Dean Academic Courses.

Condonation of Attendance: Every student is expected to put in 100% attendance. The minimum-attendance requirement is 85%. For cases of casual absenteeism, no condonation of attendance is permissible. If a student has less than 85% attendance, he/she should be assigned ‘W’ grade in that subject along with ‘P’ as the attendance code.

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