Research work takes hit as internet gag completes 150 days
By Jazib Bhat
Dec 31: As Kashmir Wednesday completed 150 straight days of internet blockade –
the longest ever in the world – academic researchers have been among the most
frustrated lot in the valley.
was withdrawn on August 5 when Centre abrogated Article 370 and downgraded the
state into two union territories – J&K, and Ladakh. Hundreds and fifty days
on, no one has a clue when the government is planning to restore this
gag however has badly hit the research with scores of scholars at the
University of Kashmir saying that their work has, more or less, come to a
figures reveal that there are more than 1400 scholars currently enrolled in the
University. Majority of them are finding it difficult to continue their
research because of the ongoing blockade.
has been a psychological trauma for us as we fear that our researches will not
be completed on time”, said Mohammad Yunis, who is pursuing PHD in Mass
Communications at Kashmir University.
a scholar in Botany, said she might have to devote one more year for research
before completing her doctorate.
in shutdowns is difficult for women. Had internet been working, all data
analysis could have been done at home,” she said.
scholar Jasfeeda Qadir had to travel to New Delhi to collect details for her
had to travel to New Delhi for my research. It is easier to find data on
e-books and journals rather than finding books in libraries, which consumes a
lot of time”, said Jasfeeda.
Gowher Ahmad Shappoo, a senior research scholar at Kashmir University, said
access to internet is like oxygen for a researcher. “Education and health
sector have suffered immensely due to internet clampdown,” he said.
though was restored at Iqbal library recently, yet it takes hours for people to
access the facility given the huge rush.
are hundreds of scholars waiting in queue just to access internet”, said Sadaf.
some of the scholars couldn’t attend seminars and conferences because they were
not able to access communiqués and invitations. “Seminars and conferences are
important for our researches. I have not able to know the dates of these
seminars” says Mohammed Yunis.
research, Kashmir University, Zahoor Ahmad Reshi was not available for