2G vs 4G: How Kashmir’s Students Lag Behind as Others Race Ahead

How easy is online learning for Kashmiris? We compared the speed of a govt app on 2G in Kashmir with 4G in Noida. 

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Camera: Athar Rather
Multimedia Producer: Rahul Sanpui

(With inputs from Shah Umar)

(The Jammu and Kashmir administration on 21 October prolonged the ban on 4G internet services in the Union Territory, excluding two districts, till 12 November. In the backdrop of this development, The Quint is reposting this story, originally published on 8 October 2020, from its archives.)

On 20 September 2020, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishen Reddy told the Lok Sabha that students in Jammu and Kashmir can access education apps and websites run by the government on 2G mobile internet.

“E-learning apps and education and e-learning websites of the government are accessible over 2G internet for downloading e-books and other study material," Reddy said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, seeking to justify the ban on 4G mobile internet in Jammu and Kashmir.

But how easy is it for students in Kashmir to learn on 2G, day after day?

The Quint compared accessibility of e-Pathshala, a government learning app between two individuals – Class 12 student Haya Muzaffer, using 2G in Srinagar, Kashmir, and The Quint’s Senior Correspondent Anthony Rozario in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

Here are the results:

App Download - While Anthony took just 9 seconds to download the app, Haya took 3:73 mins do do the same.

E-Book Download - Anthony took 15 seconds to download the E-book, while Haya took 5:15 minutes.

While Anthony finished downloading the app, e-book and watched a video in 16:24 minutes, Haya took about 30 minutes to complete the entire process.

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