Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Sunday informed the Lok Sabha that there is no restriction on accessing any website in Jammu and Kashmir.
He added that social media websites also remain accessible in the newly formed Union Territory.
He said the mobile data services are presently restricted to 2G speed in all but two districts of the Union territory.
“There is no restriction on accessing any sites, including the social media sites,” he said in a written reply.
Reddy said the internet services are already available in Kashmir on fixed line (without any speed-related restrictions) as well as mobile data services (at 2G speed) since January 24, 2020.
He said restrictions on accessing social media sites were also lifted on March 4, 2020. Further, high speed mobile data services too have been commenced in the districts of Ganderbal (Kashmir Division) and Udhampur (Jammu Division) with effect from August 16, 2020.
The minister said fixed line internet connectivity is available without any speed-related restrictions, with Mac-binding.
He said the businesses have had access to internet through fixed line connectivity and internet kiosks opened in large numbers across the Valley without any speed restrictions.
Reddy also informed the Lower House that 2G mobile internet speed is not an impediment in COVID control measures, including dissemination of information to the general public as well as health workers.
Also, he said, e-learning apps and education/e-learning websites of the Government of India, Government of J&K are accessible over 2G internet for downloading e-books and other study material.
“Further, the restriction on high speed mobile internet services has not been an impediment in the administration of justice and the courts have taken special measures to conduct their proceedings during the pandemic by providing video links/URLs to lawyers and the litigants,” the minister said.
“Considering the overall security scenario and in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir issues orders from time to time regulating telecom and internet services in terms of the applicable rules and the principles laid down and directions contained in the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India..,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)