Srinagar: The Central University of Kashmir is providing access to various online educational resources to its students as an alternative to class work, which remains suspended in view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing lockdown. The all-India lockdown, which began on March 25, has thrown life out of gear with the government asking educational institutions to switch to online modes of platforms of educational. As part of the online modes of education, officials at the CUK’s Central Library are now providing access to a “Remote Access Facility” to the registered students to enable them to benefit from various online platforms including “ACM Digital Library”, “Economic and Political Weekly”, “JSTOR”, “manupatra”, “McGraw Hill Education” among many other online resources. The students registered at the Central Library have been asked by the officials to log in with their individual e-mail addresses on the platform saying the university administration had already created an account on the facility. The platforms have already been made available through a mobile app, which the students can download from the internet. Students at the CUK, who appreciated the move, however, complained about the prevalent lowspeed internet in Kashmir, which they said, would hamper the access to the online platforms especially those offering video lectures. A student at the CUK told Kashmir Reader that the proposed access to the online resources was a only “time buying exercise”, saying such platforms were perceived to beneficial only for researchers while being “least efficient for examination purpose”. MHRD has recently asked university students to switch to online and elearning platforms including the online SWAYAM portal and SWAYAM PRABHA offering TV channels transmitting educational programmes for students. However, students and researchers at varsities in Kashmir have been complaining the government’s consistent blockade of highspeed internet in the valley saying they face difficulties in accessing the online study material even as the lockdown is expected to last months. Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have restored only low-speed 2G internet in Kashmir after completely blocking it a day before abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year.
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