Kashmir internet shutdown will complete five-months on January 5, 2020. Due to the internet shutdown, hundreds of research scholars pursuing PhDs in universities of Kashmir are facing huge losses in their professional and personal lives. They are unable to research literature, communicate with journals amid the internet shutdown.
This year, the internet was blocked all over Kashmir on August 5 following the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories
The PhD scholar at the sciences department at the University of Kashmir said that because of the shutdown of internet services students of Kashmir were unable to access their email account.
One of the researchers, wishing not to disclose his name said, “Many research scholars were forced to travel to outside the Valley and even to places like Drass and Ladakh, covering long distances on road, just to access their emails and send out some important emails, apply for conferences online and email papers to research journals in India and other countries.”
He also said that people would have to travel outside the states to access the internet however several couldn’t able to afford travelling so far with lodging expenses.
“Sometimes many research scholars were forced to share their email passwords with friends or acquaintances based outside the state so that they could access and inform them about some urgent emails they couldn’t access on time here,” he said.
Since there was no internet connection, one of the research scholars was unable to attend a national conference related to his field that was held outside the state last month merely because he was failed to upload his documents in the required time frame.
In the past few weeks, he also said that a limited internet connection has been provided at the IT section of the campus which is closely monitored by the administration.
“The limited internet facility is mostly used by the university administration. It is inadequate to fulfill the needs of hundreds of research scholars of the university who require more internet access for their research work which remains badly affected due to the ongoing internet shutdown,” he said.
Around 200 research scholars at the University of Kashmir enrolled in different science departments were badly affected for the past five months due to internet ban.
A first-year Ph.D. student at a bio-sciences department in University of Kashmir said “Today everything is online and our research is incomplete without access to the internet. The ongoing internet ban has proved that the government here does not care about our career or studies.
He also said, “Otherwise they would have kept some internet access for students and researchers like us in the university in the past few months.”