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Biometric check on teachers

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 16: Engineering colleges functioning with minimal faculty or hooky teachers need to pull up their socks.

The state government has decided to bring under the scanner all major technical universities in the state with the help of biometric devices for recording attendance.

The facilities will be installed at all the constituent colleges under the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology, Burla, and Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology (IGIT).

“The move is intended to keep an eye on colleges that are faking the number of faculty they actually have,” said secretary, department of technical education, C. S. Kumar.

“This apart, the facility will also help check absenteeism among teachers and ensure that they are regular and punctual,” said Kumar, adding that the facilities will be installed by March 2013.

Biometrics attendance is the facility of identifying humans by their characteristics. It uses identifiable characteristics in individuals such as DNA, fingerprints, voice recognition and others.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) currently stipulates a 1:14 teacher-student ratio for engineering institutions. However, many colleges tend to fake the numbers while presenting data about their institutions.

“Such devices would cross check the number of staff the colleges actually have. This will expose those colleges flouting AICTE norms,” a senior officer said. However, the decision has not gone down well with the teachers.

“The system should be installed to check students’ absenteeism instead. What is the point in targeting teachers this way? The data will simply be exploited against us by the heads of the departments and principals,” said a teacher of an engineering college on condition of anonymity.

The department has also decided to install closed-circuit video cameras in all government-engineering colleges.