The frequent suspension of 2G internet during militant encounters in Kashmir has irked college and university students who are appearing in their online internal examinations these days.
Already bearing the brunt of slow speed internet during the Covid-19 lockdown, the student community said snapping of mobile internet whenever a gunfight takes place between militants and security forces, leaves their examination schedules in disarray.
Majid Lone of Islamia College of Science and Commerce (ICSC), Srinagar, woke up to no cellular internet service on Sunday as an encounter had started in Zadibal area of the city. “When I made some calls, I came to know about the encounter and postponement of the exams. Mobile internet was suspended in south Kashmir on Thursday and Friday too after encounters erupted there,” he said.
While three militants were killed in Zadibal encounter on Sunday, eight militants were killed on Thursday and Friday in two separate gun battles in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts. A militant was also killed in Kulgam on Saturday. Another encounter erupted in Anantnag on Monday.
A computer science student of Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) in Pulwama district said their internal viva exams were scheduled online on Thursday when the internet was suddenly snapped.
“Out of 80, barely three students managed to give the exam. The whole schedule got disrupted as the internet was restored on Saturday when the exams were held again,” she said.
IUST student Abrar Ahmad, who is doing his BTech in electronics and communication engineering, said students were suffering a lot due to the internet issues in the valley. “Our exam was scheduled on Sunday, but due to internet suspension it could not be held. Our next paper is on Tuesday, so the university may squeeze in the rescheduled exam a day before or after, which adds to our burden,” he said.
Kashmir divisional commissioner Pandurang K Pole said, “We try to localise internet suspension in rural areas, but in the city, there are technological constraints. We will look into the issue.”
When contacted, higher education secretary Talat Parvez Rohella’s phone was switched off.
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