Navodaya Suicides: HRD Sets Up Panel, Asks for Two (Download PDF)


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The Central government’s residential schools for talented rural children witnessed 49 student suicides from 2013 to 2017, including that of 25 Dalit and tribal students. Expressing “serious concerns” over these findings, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), headed by former Chief Justice of India issued a notice to the school education secretary in the HRD Ministry on January 1 seeking a response within six weeks.

Image Of Lucnow, Bhopal Top List

Image of Lucnow, Bhopal Top List

Image Of Lucnow, Bhopal Top List

  • The ministry has been directed to submit its response on:

    • Whether trained counsellors are available on campus; if there is dedicated staff to ensure students are not left alone in their rooms;

    • Whether students have access to emergency assistance through counselling over telephone and a suicide hotline service.

Steps Taken by Ministry

  • The HRD Ministry has set up a task force, headed by psychiatrist to look into the circumstances leading to such deaths and suggest ways to arrest the disturbing trend.

  • The ministry has also sought approval of the Department of Expenditure (DoE) for engaging two full-time counsellors — one male and one female — in each of the 630 JNVs, according to a statement issued Thursday.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

  • The National Human Rights Commission of India is an autonomous public body constituted on 12 October 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance of 28 September 1993.

  • It was given a statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

  • Website:

  • Formed: 12 October 1993

  • Jurisdiction: Government of India

  • Headquarters: New Delhi

  • First executive: Ranganath Misra

Ministry of Human Resource (HRD)

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development, formerly Ministry of Education, is responsible for the development of human resources in India.

  • Founded: 26 September 1985

  • Child agencies: Department of School Education and Literacy; Department of Higher Education

  • Headquarters: New Delhi

  • Jurisdiction: India

  • Officeholders: Mahendra Nath Pandey (Minister of State), Smriti Irani (Union Minister), Prakash Javadekar (Minister)

  • Departments: Department of Higher Education, Department of School Education and Literacy

- Published/Last Modified on: March 14, 2019

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