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July 20, 2019

PhD scholar, known as ‘Junior Einstein’, kills self on IISc campus

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Bengaluru, Jul 20: The decomposed body of a 26-year-old research scholar at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru was found in his hostel room last evening.

The deceased has been identified as K V Pavan Kumar, a native of Andhra Pradesh, who was pursuing final year PhD from the Centre for High Energy Physics.

Kumar, who had a special interest in black holes and quantum gravity, is remembered by fellow students for quality publications. He was known as “junior Einstein” on the campus. "His work is certainly proof that he was no ordinary student," said one of his friends.

Police suspect Kumar may have consumed poison about two days ago. Kumar was incommunicado since Wednesday. The incident came to light on Friday when his friends tried reaching him and found his room locked. Kumar had spoken to his father before he went incommunicado.

"He had not attended any classes. He did not take any calls either. He was found hanging on Friday," said the police.

Students have individual accommodations and hence such incidents don't come to light immediately. A similar case was reported from the premier science institute in May when Ameya Manoj, a student from Nagpur, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel room.

Pavan Kumar left behind a suicide note in which he cited family issues as the reason. He, however, thanked his parents and sister in the message.

His family has been informed. The postmortem is being conducted at M S Ramaiah Hospital in Bengaluru.

"There is a need to offer better counselling to students. Some are also under pressure to perform. It's very different from just having to study and ace exams," said another student.

"The institute will facilitate all formalities and in reaching the mortal remains to his native place. The institute expresses its condolences to the bereaved family. A condolence meeting will be held in front of the main building at 11 am on Monday, July 22," read an official note from the IISc.

PhD scholar, known as ‘Junior Einstein’, kills self on IISc campus

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