Elusive 4G internet adds to lockdown woes of J&K students | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Elusive 4G internet adds to lockdown woes of J&K students

Hindustan Times, Jammu | By, Jammu
Apr 16, 2020 05:20 PM IST

The 4G service was snapped here on August 4 last year, a day before the BJP-led central government had revoked Article 370.

At a time when the education department has started online classes for students across Jammu and Kashmir since March 26, high-speed 4G internet remains elusive across the Union territory.

Many students in Jammu and Srinagar told HT over the phone that the low-speed 2G network was playing a spoilsport in their e-studies.(HT File)
Many students in Jammu and Srinagar told HT over the phone that the low-speed 2G network was playing a spoilsport in their e-studies.(HT File)

The 4G service was snapped here on August 4 last year, a day before the BJP-led central government had revoked Article 370.

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On January 24 this year, the UT administration had restored internet connectivity, but with “obsolete and archaic” 2G network.

The Supreme Court had on April 9 asked the J&K administration and Centre to respond to a plea seeking directions to restore 4G internet in the UT, in view of the prevailing pandemic.

However, many students in Jammu and Srinagar told HT over the phone that the low-speed 2G network was playing a spoilsport in their e-studies.

“Though there is no substitute to classroom teaching where concepts are clarified and understood in a better way, 2G network is adding to our woes,” said Madhu Gupta, a student of a private school in Jammu city.

She added, “Schools have been sending assignments on e-care portals, but the slow-paced 2G network renders us helpless and sulking.”

Rupin Gupta, another student from the city, said, “Not everyone has a broadband facility at home and majority of the people are relying on mobile internet. Jammu region is constantly being punished by the BJP government for no fault of its people.”

Furqan Ali, a 23 year old youth from Srinagar, said that 2G network was a cruel joke on millions of students across the UT. “The administration gives us lame excuses that restoration of 4G network may lead to terror attacks, and keeps denying the law abiding citizens their fundamental rights. Not everyone is a terrorist in J&K,” he remarked.

School education department director Anuradha Gupta said that on March 26, a day after the lockdown began, they switched over to other modes of communication like online classes, TV, radio, conference calls etc for keeping the schoolchildren abreast with their studies. “Schools heads and teachers were also roped in to help the students using these modes,” she added.

Meanwhile, the home department has decided to continue 2G internet services in the UT till April 27. T

The 2G mobile internet services has been extended in Jammu and Kashmir till April 27 for postpaid and only verified prepaid SIM, according to an order issued by the home department secretary Shaleen Kabra.

“The postpaid SIM card holders shall continue to be provided access to the internet but these services shall not be made available on prepaid SIM cards unless verified as per the norms applicable for postpaid connections,” the order said.

The order attributed the decision of not restoring 4G internet to “social media applications that are used for the circulation of photographs of terrorists of proscribed terror organisations, mobilising crowds and spike in terror attacks”.

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