Design: Swati Sheenum, G Shreethigha, Shaurya Rawat, Abhiram Pavithran O, and Hardhik Pinjala
This is a strange time in our history. The world is engulfed by an unexpected virus, and we are quarantined at our homes, leaving insti behind. In this new normal, we at T5E are trying to understand the complexities of the situation facing us at this point in our student lives. To this end, we conducted a survey covering aspects such as academics, productivity, mental health, accessibility, and much more.
T5E’s Quaran-time survey was conducted in the month of May among IITM students and it amassed a staggering 1177 responses in only three weeks. In this article, we present to you the survey analysis focusing on Accessibility. Accessibility to things like the internet, masks, daily food, groceries, and so on were analysed.
Stable Internet Connection
93.83% of the students have access to the internet with some of them having unstable but manageable internet connection. The above figure shows how people having access to stable internet are divided degree-wise. 6.16% of the total students have answered saying that they don’t have access to the internet. Note that in reality, this number may be higher as the students answering the survey would have had an internet connection of some sorts (mobile data at least).
Mode of Internet Connection
Internet connection through broadband and wifi is the most prevalent amongst students. This is not surprising as most of the people with internet access in India have internet in the form of Broadband (as per data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India). Students having a connection through broadband and wifi are most likely to have a stable internet connection. 75.04% of students who have internet connection in the form of broadband and wifi have a stable internet connection while only 23.6% people having an internet connection through other modes indicate that it is stable.
Accessibility and Effectiveness of Video Lectures
82.63% of people have access to online lectures either downloaded or live. 61.14% of the students in this category are the ones having a stable internet connection and the rest have an unstable but manageable internet connection. Even though students have access to online lectures, the effectiveness of lectures is less as indicated by the ratings in the above figure.
It should also be noted that 2.62% of students don’t have access to video lectures at all which indicates the difficulty that the institute will face when planning to conduct online examinations or other modes of evaluation for the students. Also, this number may be higher in reality as students who took the survey mostly have had an internet connection of some sorts at least.
Availability of Masks
With the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in the country, almost everyone is seen wearing masks these days. In fact, it is mandatory in some areas to do wear a mask while going outside. A majority of insti students have access to masks. Students who don’t have access to masks are making use of handkerchiefs and other similar objects to protect themselves while going out.
The onset of the pandemic has curbed online shopping and online food delivery as they have potential to spread the virus. Note that the survey was conducted in the month of may when the country was under lockdown which is the reason why online shopping etc. is seen to be not that prevalent in the survey results. Now, with the country starting to unlock, this number would have increased. Many companies, be it food or other things, have also started advertising “contact-less” delivery, which is also a factor for increasing no. of people making use online shopping and online food delivery now.
Food, Groceries, and Medicines
81% of the students have answered that there is an abundance of food/groceries in the nearby grocery store and they are not facing any major issues regarding the availability of the same. While the remaining 19% students claim that things of daily needs are sparse or scarce at the nearby shops. This indicates the impact the pandemic has had on the availability of things as things of daily needs which would have been available easily otherwise are sparse and scarce.
Access to medicines is an important thing during these times. It is also especially important for people suffering with diseases other than COVID-19, some of which may also need access to regular medicines. 76.6% of students have rated accessibility to medicines above 3 while the remaining 23.4% have rated accessibility to medicines as 3 or below.
The pandemic, in general, has revealed the importance of not only everyday items but also of digital accessibility. The majority of respondents have reasonable access to groceries, medicines, masks, and the internet, and it is important to acknowledge that we are one of the lucky ones.
Stay safe, stay at home, and watch out for the next part of the Quaran-time survey!
Check out other parts of the Quaran-Time Survey: