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Swine flu? Present, sir...

Delhi University’s faculty members are opposing the adoption of a fool-proof attendance monitoring system on the grounds that it could spread swine flu.

delhi Updated: Dec 09, 2009 01:58 IST
HT Correspondent

Delhi University’s faculty members are opposing the adoption of a fool-proof attendance monitoring system on the grounds that it could spread swine flu.

After the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) called for a strike on December 7 to protest against the proposed introduction of a biometric attendance monitoring system, Academics for Action and Development (AAD) — a teachers’ organisation — has come up with another ‘reason’ to oppose it — the system can spread the H1N1 virus.

AAD’s general secretary J Khuntia and press secretary Rajiv Kumar Verma, both members of DU Academic Council, in a press release issued on Tuesday said the proposed system of attendance for DU College and University teachers was not only humiliating but also posed a health hazard.

According to Khuntia and Verma, factory workers in Hong Kong and other countries have started opposing the biometric system on health grounds. They said since the system required pressing a finger on a screen by a large number of people, it could spread the disease. DU Vice-Chancellor, Deepak Pental, a scientist, is surprisingly ignorant of this lethal aspect.

Subhash Arya, a senior pediatrician at BL Kapoor Hospital, Pusa Road, said, “Technically, it is possible. If an infected person sneezes or coughs into his hands and then touches the biometric system, the virus can spread to those who touch it later. But I have not come across any such cases or studies.”

Ishica Ghosh, a III-year Delhi University student finds the reasoning funny. “If we go by that logic, we should stop going to the libraries. Both teachers and students go to the library and the chances of infection are higher there.”

Kanwar Sain, mayor of Delhi and a proponent of biometric systems ever since they helped detect 22,583 ‘ghost’ employees in the MCD, said, “Such fears are baseless. The introduction of this system has helped curb absenteeism and it should be introduced in all public representative bodies.”