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DU faces contempt notice for not starting biometric attendance

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 22, 2013
First Published: 23:17 IST(22/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:18 IST(22/4/2013)

The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the response of the Delhi University on a petition seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against it for failing to implement the biometric attendance system for its teachers.

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DU's lawyer told the court that a resolution had been passed for adopting the system before the next academic session commencing in July. However, the court issued a notice to DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh and Registrar Alka Sharma. Justice GS Sistani sought their reply on an affidavit by August 7.

"University of Delhi is committed to adopt and implement measures which are favourable and beneficial to the university system as a whole, such as biometric attendance system for teachers," said an affidavit filed by DU on September 19, 2012 in response to a PIL. The university had tried to introduce the system in 2009, but had to hastily withdraw the decision after the Delhi University Teacher's Association (DUTA) went on strike in protest.

DU's failure to keep the promise was brought to the court's attention by NGO Indian Council of Legal Aid and Advice. Emphasising the need for a system to keep a tab on teachers, it's lawyer RK Saini told the court: "There is no system in place to ensure that a teacher comes to class regularly. They also go on strikes for frivolous reasons. A system must be put in place to make sure that the teachers complete their teaching hours." The decision to implement biometric attendance norms in colleges was passed in the university's executive council in October last year, but the administration has not moved forward, keeping in view the opposition from the teachers.

"We will have to implement the biometric attendance system soon despite opposition from the teachers as we cannot ignore the court's decision anymore," said a senior DU official.


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