The state employees in Jharkhand have literally thumbed their nose at the government’s biometric attendance system despite it being linked to the salary disbursal, according to a report.
The Aadhar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) was launched by chief minister Raghubar Das in May last year to improve work culture in state government departments. The system was functionally introduced on March 23, 2015 through a notification. As per the system, an employee’s thumb impression is stored in the AEBAS database and whenever he puts his thumb on the reader screen, he is marked present. The system is easy, but not more than 20% employees use it.
As per the AEBAS report, about 21% government employees mark their attendance through this system in Ranchi, 2% in Dumka, 24% in East Singhbhum, 16% in Dhanbad, 18% in Hazaribagh, 9%, in West Singhbum, 20% in Seraikela-Kharsawan and 15% in Ramgarh.
According to figures, there are about 1,16, 750 registered users in the state. However, only 66,310 are reportedly active ones. But, a random check on Wednesday, showed that 27,717 employees marked their presence through 1260 AEBAS active devices across the state. However, a reality check showed that about six were not on duty despite marking themselves present. This, sources said, was reflective of the state of work culture improvement the chief minister had intended to bring about through the system.
State information technology secretary Sunil Kumar Barnwal said there was need to understand that the system could substantially improve government functioning and delivery system. He, however, admitted that poor power supply, poorer connectivity and malfunctioning devices were some of the major reasons why the system had failed to catch on even after a year.
He shot off a letter to all the deputy commissioners (DCs) of 24 districts of the state to get state employees immediately registered with AEBAS. However, nothing has happened so far.
However, there are some districts which have a higher percentage of biometric system users. Koderma has the highest 46% employees marking biometric attendance followed by Bokaro 43%, Gumla 41%, Deogarh 39%, Lohardaga 38% and Latehar 37%. But, all are still less than 50%.