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Campus connect: Biometric attendance - Pune colleges not adhering to deadline might face strict action

On June 15, a government resolution (GR) was issued by the state government directing aided, unaided and self-financed junior colleges to install biometric attendance systems within a month.

pune Updated: Jul 27, 2018 17:28 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,campus connect,biometric attendance
Students of COEP use the biometric attendance system on Wednesday. COEP is one of the few colleges that has the system working for the last five years. (SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO )

PUNE In the light of a recent initiative by the state government, to make bio-metric attendance compulsory in colleges, only a few colleges in the city have managed to install the technology.

On June 15, a government resolution (GR) was issued by the state government directing aided, unaided and self-financed junior colleges to install biometric attendance systems within a month.

Atthe first year junior college (FYJC) level, the education department had directed colleges to install bio-metric devices in 1,300 junior colleges in the city.

The one-month deadline for the same, however, is now over, with many colleges still in the planning phase. Meenakshi Raut, deputy director of education, said,“Attendance is a major issue and we have been trying to solve it for quite some time. The bio-metric system is an ideal solution, provided that all the colleges adhere to it. As the deadline is over, we will initiate a thorough inspection to see the progress and we will take action against all those who did not comply.”

The initiative is intended tocombat low attendance stemming from various reasons like the alleged integrated system between coaching classes and the institutions. Most colleges in the city are not ready.

Nitin Kulkarni, vice-principal, Fergusson College, said, “It’s a sudden change and it’s taking some time to be implemented properly due to technical issues. We have written to the management to speed up the process and implement the installations soon.”

Teresa David, principal, Laxmanrao Apte School and College, said, “As per our knowledge of the rule, we had floated tenders for simple biometric systems, but we were recently informed that the systems would also need a GPS system. So pushing the tenders once again for the machines has caused the delay. The management is taking all measures to get it done by the first week of August.”

BN Chaudhari, deputy director, College of Engineering Pune (COEP) said,“The bio-metric system indeed is very advantageous as it provides an almost full-proof system to track the attendance, without the possibility of human error. We have had the system for the past sive years now for our scholarship students of post graduation. It not only provides a daily transparent monitoring system of attendance, but also eliminates any possibility of proxy attendance, prevalent in the traditional methods.”

Modern College at Shivajinagar, is one of the forerunners in embracing the technology, after having installed the system two years back. Talking about its impact, Rajendra Zunjarrao, principal, says,“It has become the need of the hour now and with the government pushing it, I feel all should introduce it in their respective institutions. Particularly because this has a great advantage of reducing workload on the academic staff. It is quick, user-friendly and gives accurate data without the possibility of errors.”

Modern College has five portable machines.

Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Lavale, installed the system only a month ago. Deputy director of the institute, Ravi Kumar, informed that in addition to using a portable system, they strategically take the attendance at the end of the class, to eliminate any case of proxies.

However, Chaudhari added that the system should be looked as a technology to keep a track of the staff and students, not to judge them.

“Students should come to class for the education they receive there. They are adults and so we don’t want to force them to attend classes by instilling the fear of absolute data. The system does help in managing a big crowd of students and staff. We treat it as data that confirms their security and not something to judge them upon,” Chaudhari added.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 17:26 IST