Over 13,000 SC, ST, OBC Students Dropped Out of Central Universities, IITs, IIMs Since 2018

Over 13,000 SC, ST, OBC Students Dropped Out of Central Universities, IITs, IIMs Since 2018

About 13,626 students from the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities have dropped out of central universities, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in the last five years, minister of state for education Subhas Sarkar said.

Sarkar was answering a question on whether the government has carried out any studies to understand the reason behind such high dropout rates in these institutions. He said, “In the Higher Education sector students have multiple options and they choose to migrate across institutions and from one course/programme to another in the same institution. The migration/withdrawal if any, is mainly on account of securing seat by the students in other departments or institutions of their choice or on any personal ground.”

He gave a breakup of the students who have dropped out of various institutions. Around 4,596 OBC candidates, 2,424 SC and 2,622 ST students dropped out of central universities in the past five years. While as many as 2,066 OBC candidates, 1,068 SC and 408 ST students dropped out of IITs and 163 OBC, 188 SC and 91 ST candidates dropped out of IIMs in the same period.

He said that “In order to proactively address any issues of SC/ST students, institutes have set up mechanisms such as SC/ST students’ cells, Equal Opportunity Cell, Student Grievance Cell, Student Grievance Committee, Students Social Club, Liaison officers, Liaison Committee etc. Further, University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued instructions from time to time for promoting equity and fraternity amongst students,” the minister said.

The education ministry earlier this year informed the parliament that more than 33 students had died by suicide at various IIT and IIM campuses. In December 2021, the Union government had told parliament that 122 students had died by suicide at central higher educational institutions between 2014 and 2021. Of the 122 students, 24 belonged to the SC community, three were STs and 41 were OBCs.