Researchers moving out of J&K to access the internet

Not only doctors, but the researches pursuing their M. Phil and Ph. D programmes at various universities in Kashmir too have been handicapped due to the information blockade (AFP File Photo)

As internet and mobile phone services continue to remain snapped, scores of researchers, including doctors, are moving out of Kashmir to complete their assignments.

A doctor pursuing MD in the department of Neurology at territory-care SKIMS hospital in Srinagar said that there was no chance of completing his thesis due to non-availability of internet. “I was left with no option but to move out to access the literature which I needed for the thesis. While I was done with the basic writing of the thesis and needed access to the internet, I had to fly to Delhi,” he said wishing not to be named.

After spending a week in national capital, the doctor came back to Srinagar and is set to submit his thesis in the coming days. “I am done with the major part now which I could have done more than a month back if the internet would have been available,” he added.

Medical Superintendent SKIMS, Dr Farooq Jan admitted the hospital correspondence with other institutions is at its low. “If we have anything urgent we have to send someone to the Deputy Commissioner’s office to access internet,” he said.

Not only doctors, but researches pursuing their M. Phil and Ph. D programmes at various universities in Kashmir too have been handicapped due to the information blockade. “In today’s world, the internet is an absolutely vital tool for conducting and communicating research. Like every Kashmiri, the communication blockade has frustrated scholars too,” Iqra Ali, who is pursuing M. Phil at Central University Kashmir, told DH.

A senior professor at Kashmir University said everything has come to a grinding halt since first week of August. “This situation (internet blockade) is going to be extremely harmful for researchers. The researchers at our university feel completely helpless and desperate,” he said. 

“There are deadlines for institutional applications, finance, support, reporting requirements and grants which the government has moved online. In the absence of Internet connectivity this is impossible to achieve,” the professor said and added several researchers from the university were moving outside Kashmir to access Internet.

However, shuttling between Delhi and Srinagar frequently becomes a costly affair for them and all well-off people can afford that. Kashmiri students elsewhere in India also face financial problems because their parents are no longer able to transfer money to them online.

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