Other States

J&K students, parties disappointed over SC’s directions on high-speed Internet

File image.

File image.   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Students, professionals and the regional political parties on Monday expressed disappointment over the directions of the Supreme Court (SC) asking the executive to take a call on the restoration of high-speed 4G Internet in Jammu and Kashmir

Also read: CISCO Denies Building Firewall to Restrict Internet in J&K.

Several students were of the opinion that non-availability of high-speed Internet will take a toll on online classes, the only mode of teaching adopted by schools due to the COVID-19 inflicted lockdown.

Also read: J&K internet restrictions: SC sets up special panel

“We attended schools just for three to four weeks this year. Earlier, the August 5 episode closed schools for over four months. Our studies now largely depend on the high-speed Internet for online classes and also for videos that disseminate education. It will only make us less competitive compared to our counterparts,” said Aqib Ahmad, a student of the Green Valley High School.

A spokesman of the Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK), also a petitioner, said, “4G Internet was need of the hour to help the beleaguered education sector in Kashmir”.

Many researchers lamented that it will hamper all the research programmes of professionals. “Those who are writing research papers have to access heavy files for background research and for other methodical requirements. It will only make our research poor and level of a researcher poorer,” said Sajad Ahmad, a researcher in the geological sciences.

Earlier this month, Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon, Principal Secretary, J&K School Education, had also warned that kids, taking up online classes, “can’t download text books as the Internet is slow”.

Daily Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin, who earlier filed a petition on Internet restoration, said, “The SC took five months to uphold Internet as fundamental right but does not direct immediate and full restoration. Four months on, the SC asks the State to set up special committee to review the matter.”

NC, CPI(M) express displeasure

National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana said his party shared the concern of the students.

“Necessary checks and balances can be put in place to check misuse of 4G Internet. Denial of the facility is not justified if the administration is really serious about the students,” he said.

CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami said the SC’s refusal to ask the J&K administration to restore 4G Internet connectivity has disappointed people.

"At a time when COVID-19 pandemic has engulfed the whole world and people rely heavily on Internet, the same facility is being denied to people of J&K. People are hankering for information about the pandemic and remedial measures, but due to low speed Internet, they are unable to do so,” he said.

He said the low speed was impeding the work-from-home (WFH) regimen of professionals, including doctors.

J&K has been without high-speed mobile Internet since August 5, 2019 when the Centre had revoked the erstwhile State’s special status.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 11:19:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jk-students-parties-disappointed-over-scs-directions-on-high-speed-internet/article31561677.ece

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