Office goers in U’khand feel ‘uneasy’ over biometric attendance | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Office goers in U’khand feel ‘uneasy’ over biometric attendance

The state government’s decision to extend compulsory biometric attendance to all its employees has sent a wave of “uneasiness” among office goers

dehradun Updated: Jun 11, 2017 19:25 IST
Neha Pant
A biometric attendance machine at the state secretariat in Dehradun.
A biometric attendance machine at the state secretariat in Dehradun. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

The state government’s decision to extend compulsory biometric attendance to all its employees has sent a wave of “uneasiness” among office goers.

Aimed at reining in habitual latecomers and those who leave early, the new system requires an employee to punch his/her fingerprint on a biometric machine twice every day - at beginning and closing of work hours.

Finance and parliamentary affairs minister Prakash Pant while laying the budget in the state assembly on June 8 said compulsory biometric attendance was introduced for all employees at the state secretariat last month, following which it was extended to the commissionery headquarters and police headquarters.

“In the second phase, we have decided to extend the biometric attendance to all offices at the district level and thereafter at the block and tehsil-level. It is a part of the government’s initiative to strengthen public administration and to ensure their (government employees’) accountability and timeliness in completing works,” Pant said.

“The step would lead to an increased sense of discipline among the public servants,” he added.

Amit Negi, secretary (chief minister’s office), has written to district magistrates to ensure that the biometric attendance system was put in place in government offices by June 30.

Many government employees, however, beg to differ.

“It (biometric system) will at best ensure that employees are present on the office premises during the in and out time…but how will they ensure that they’re working efficiently and sincerely during those hours?” questioned an employee working at the Rudraprayag collectorate.

“We are all for improving the work system...but we fail to understand how the biometric attendance would lead to improvement in the overall quality of work at government offices. Also, how will they track attendance of field employees, who form the backbone of the system?” asked Subhash Devliyal, senior vice-president of the Uttarakhand Ministerial Federation of Services Association.

The association has members in the state’s 42 government departments.

Some even went a step further to suggest that a similar system be put in place for lawmakers.

“Why don’t they put in place an attendance system for MLAs to gauge how many times they visited their assembly areas after winning the elections?” said another member of the association.