Sunday, March 3, 2024

IIT-Madras suspends professor over research scholar’s suicide

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) has suspended a professor following an inquiry into the suicide of a research scholar of the institute in March.

“Prof Ashish Kumar Sen has been suspended based on the direction of the Board of Governors. The Institute is following all due procedures,”the institute’s spokesperson said.

This comes after an enquiry report submitted by a five-member committee, which found the professor solely responsible for the death of Sachin Kumar Jain, a research scholar in March this year.

The suspended professor professor was Sachin Kumar Jain’s guide.

Sachin Kumar Jain, a 31-year-old PhD scholar at the Mechanical Engineering Department, died by suicide on 31 March.

Following his death by suicide, his brother Bhavesh Jain, had written a six-page letter to the director of IIT Madras, V Kamakoti, alleging that his brother was under “undue pressure” from his PhD guide Ashish Kumar Sen.

Following this, a five-member enquiry committee was constituted with former Director General of Police, G. Thilagavathi as chairperson, and consisting of retired IAS officers Sabitha and Kannagi Packianathan, Professor Ravindra Giddu and Amal, a student representative to enquire into the circumstances which led to the death.

Sachin, who excelled at Jadavpur University, faced a delay in completing his IIT-M research from five to eight years, attributed to Sen’s actions.

The guide allegedly ridiculed and isolated Sachin, even assigning a junior to peer review his submitted paper on the tragic day of his suicide, according to inquiry report.

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