The country’s premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is removing ceiling fans from its hostel rooms to prevent suicides on campus, its students have alleged, and that it has started to restrict student access to terraces and rooftops.

A report in Deccan Herald quoted students as saying that the fan-removal drive began earlier this week at the U-Block hostel. It also quoted from an internal e-mail to the chairman of the Student’s Council, which said personnel charged with the work have indicated (to students) that “all rooms in all the hostels of the IISc will be covered in the next 15 days… They state that the move is in response to the recent student suicides in hostels.”

The ceiling fans are being replaced by wall-mounted fans.

The internal e-mail, according to Deccan Herald, included the results of a poll conducted by students, which found that 90 per cent of 305 respondents did not want ceiling fans to be replaced by wall-mounted fans, while 6 per cent said they do not care. Significantly, 88 per cent of students said they did not think that “replacing ceiling fans with wall-mounted fans in all IISc hostels (would) help curb student suicide”.

“Taking this poll as a sample indicator of the entire student population of the IISc, it is clear that currently, the student community does not wish to proceed with this installation. They see no worth in its value proposition,” the mail reportedly said.