The Madhya Pradesh government’s move to switch attendance in its colleges to biometric system has failed to take off despite the department of higher education’s (DHE) setting deadlines for them to install the machines.
The biometric system digitally records a person’s finger print and marks him present with date and time when he puts the same finger into the machine scanner, department officials said.
The system is mandatory for both the teaching and the non-teaching employees, they said, adding that about 98% colleges in Indore division itself had breached the July 31 deadline for installing the system.
There are 50 government colleges in the division. All 11, falling in Indore district, were given July 10 as the deadline to finish the machine installing and July 31 for 39 others across the division.
However, only one college, Atal Behari Vajpayee Government Arts and Commerce College (informally known as GACC) in Indore division, has installed the system but it is yet to get functional, said additional director (higher education, Indore div) RC Verma, who assumed charge four days ago.
Verma said there had been several reasons for a sloppy progress in the system switchover but added, “We would make sure that the installation and uplinking of the system with the department’s IT centre are completed within a month.”
Non-availability of machines was one of the reasons, as there was only one supplier-a Chennai-based firm, Verma said and added that the colleges could get the machines either from the MP Laghu Udyog Nigam Ltd (MP Small Scale Industries Corporation) or the Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals.
“But, in case the machines are not available there too, (then) the colleges could invite quotations directly from the suppliers,” he said.
However, a number of government college principals said the system would help them get a factual attendance status and keep them updated on the faculty-student ratio on the day-to-day basis.
GACC principal Shankar Lal Garg said the system was an effective tool to curb absenteeism in government colleges.
“Ultimately, it will be beneficial for the students,” Garg said.
Figures at a glance
50 total govt colleges in Indore division
11 colleges in Indore district
1 college with a biometric machine (yet to become functional)
Rs 8-12k cost of a single machine
The system will provide a faster, easier and more accurate way of recording time and attendance
It will help get data about availability of faculties at different colleges and show daily faculty-students ratio
The system will give no opportunity for attendance manipulation.
(As per the information from the officials)