Project description

The suicide crisis in India’s school and colleges is worsening.
In our country, many students commit suicide while still in the formative years of their lives, for various reasons, be it the fear of failure in examinations, the inability to handle pressure, or the fear of facing challenges.
But who is to blame for the high rate of student suicides in India?
The marks-based education system? Growing competition? Lack of moral support to young students? The generation gap? Or, the parents’ attitude of comparing their children, often unfavorably, with others?
It could be any of the above or a combination of one or more reasons. However, it is at the time of exam results that we hear about student suicides the most.
In the year 2015 alone, out of the 8934 student suicides that took place in India, 2646 suicides were due to failure in examinations.
Here’s some more grim statistics. The states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal have the dubious honour of having the highest number student suicides in India in 2015.
We at Rediff Labs have attempted to analyze how many students have committed suicide due to exam failure.

What makes this project innovative?

As pointed out above, while there can be many reasons for student suicides, we considered only one, ie, failure in examinations. This is because when this article was published, it was examinations and results time in India, when the topic ranks high on people’s minds, and schools and colleges and parents deal with the added responsibility of handling young minds under pressure.
Our intent was to make parents aware of suicides among students because of the fear of failure in exams.
But instead of merely reporting the number of suicides, we also checked to see if there was any change in trend over the last five years.
We took the data from the year 2010 to the year for which the latest data was available, 2015.
This data article uses two maps to make its point, one which shows state-wise change in student suicides from 2010 to 2015, and another showing the change in student suicides due to failure in examination.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

The readership for this article ranges above 30000

Source and methodology

The source of data is the National Crime Records Bureau, for the years 2010 to 2015 (the latest data available during the publication of this story).
We have visualized the data on a map where the size of the circle on each state shows the total number of student suicides reported in 2015.
The colour of the circle shows the change in student suicides from 2010 to 2015.
We have calculated the percentage change in number of student suicides from 2010 to 2015 and categorized it from ‘highly increased’ to ‘decreased’. For instance, in states like Sikkim, Mizoram and Manipur, the map shows that student suicides increased highly from 2010 to 2015.
Whereas in states/UTs like Himachal Pradesh, Daman & Diu, and Tripura, student suicides decreased in the same period.
Then in another map we visualized the student suicides due to failure in examinations, where the size of the circle is the total number of student suicides reported in 2015.
We have calculated the percentage change in student suicides due to failure in examinations for each state from 2010 to 2015.
The map shows that the percentage of students committing suicide due to failure in exams is very high in states like Assam, Jharkhand and Tripura, even though the total number of student suicides in these states is less in comparison to states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Technologies Used

Microsoft Excel for data analysis and Rediff's own maps platform based on OpenStreetMap

Project members

Gagan Bansal, Maps Architect

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