The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has got serious about attendance.
Its classrooms will soon be fitted with biometric systems, which will take thumbprint records to mark students' attendance. This will be a shift in culture for the Powai institute, which two decades ago did not even have compulsory attendance.
"Attendance is important as a vital component of learning happens in the classroom," said Professor VM Gadre, associate dean (academic programmes).
"We are finalising on the system."
Entrepreneur Bakul Desai from the '82 batch attended 17 lectures in five years.
"Every time I attended a lecture I would take the duster back and write the date on it. I still have a duster that says September 23, 1980," he said.
"Before tests we would have a mugging session where the studious one would read out his notes and we, the bunkers, would hope to absorb something from it."
In 1981, a proposal to list attendance with grades and send it to parents was dropped after vehement protests.
To date, the institute does not have an attendance cut-off like other colleges, which insist on 75 per cent attendance. Dealing with low attendance is left to professors who can fail a student if they deem fit.
"It will change the ambience of the classroom. Proxy and bunking are ruled out," rued a second-year B Tech student.