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October 30, 2013

Improving Work-culture – Introducing Biometric System of Attendance in Colleges

Improving Work-culture – Introducing Biometric System of Attendance in Colleges

The state government has proposed to introduce biometric attendance for college teachers from the 2014-15 academic session to keep truancy in check.

The state higher education council has forwarded the proposal to the higher education department, suggesting the biometric system to record the college teachers` arrival and departure as well as track the time they have spent on the campus.

The council had drawn up the proposal soon after the Mamata Banerjee government came to power in 2011. The University Grants Commission (UGC) wants teachers in government and state-aided colleges to work 40 hours a week.

Education minister Bratya Basu confirmed that the proposal has been in the pipeline.  Last November, the education department had made it mandatory for teachers in all the 450 colleges across Bengal to put in five working hours daily, six days a week.

Allegations of teachers coming late and leaving early are common in Bengal colleges. “College and university teachers sign a register to record their attendance, which is not a foolproof system. Many teachers do not mention their entry and exit timings honestly,“ an official said.

“The biometric attendance devices are available at affordable prices. The colleges can spend from their own corpus to introduce the system. This must be implemented to ensure that the teachers don`t skip duty,“ said the official.

The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education too has installed biometric attendance devices in two of its offices at Salt Lake. Some members of the board`s staff were being trained to oversee the system, which would be introduced early next year.