‘Disciplined’ Uttarakhand secretariat staff want biometric attendance at all govt offices
The system, which requires an employee to punch his/her fingerprint to mark their attendance through a biometric machine, was introduced for all the officials, staff and workers at the Uttarakhand secretariat last week.dehradun Updated: May 17, 2017 20:40 IST
The compulsory biometric attendance has brought about a welcome change in the work culture at the state secretariat. The officials at the secretariat, however, are now questioning why only they have to mark attendance through biometric machines. They are now demanding that the system be replicated in all government offices, especially those which involve public dealing, to ensure discipline.
The system, which requires an employee to punch his/her fingerprint to mark their attendance through a biometric machine, was introduced for all the officials, staff and workers at the Uttarakhand secretariat last week. It was done after chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat gave instructions last month to introduce the system compulsorily for all the secretariat officials and employees. The move came close on the heels of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath calling for introducing biometric attendance in the government offices in the neighbouring state.
Secretariat has nearly 1,700 employees. More than 125 biometric machines have been installed in various buildings inside the secretariat premises for marking the attendance.
Under the system, the employees are required to mark the attendance twice — when the office hours begin at 9:30 am and when they leave office at 6 pm — everyday. After its introduction, the attendance has shown a marked improvement and officials are also spending the working hours in the office.
“We welcome the new (attendance) system and the secretariat personnel are following it closely. However, the real public dealing takes place at directorates and other field offices of various departments while only a handful (of non-secretariat persons) visit the secretariat premises. So, biometric attendance should also be made compulsory for them to improve overall work efficiency (of the government system),” said Deepak Joshi, president of the Uttarakhand Secretariat Association.
“The main aim of biometric attendance is to inculcate a sense of discipline and better work culture among the employees. Unlike the manual recording in the past, it (attendance) is being registered and monitored through an online system now, for which a nodal officer has also been appointed (to monitor the system),” Anand Bardhan, principal secretary (secretariat administration), told Hindustan Times.
Last year, a similar decision had been taken to introduce biometric attendance for the state secretariat staff and officials up to the level of the joint secretary but was later withdrawn amid protests from the secretariat association, which demanded that it should be applicable to all sections of officials.