A promise is meant to be kept, Ranchi University has said it without saying it.
Jharkhand’s oldest varsity on Friday launched biometric attendance at its main administrative building, honouring a recent governor’s directive aimed at making the system mandatory at floundering state universities to stem absenteeism and poor work culture.
“One biometric device on the ground floor of the vice chancellor’s office became operational from today,” RU’s chairman of college development council P.K. Singh said, adding that two more would be installed in a day or two. “Around 200-odd employees work at our administrative building and we need at least three machines.”
Thirteen more biometric devices are being installed on the Morabadi campus of the varsity to cover all postgraduate departments.
The first hi-tech attendance day at the administrative building heard a little over 100 beeps. “Problems were expected on the first day. Everyone was perhaps not able to press their index finger (or thumb in some cases) to the machine properly. Besides, we have been registering our employees to the machine only for the last two-three days. In a week, things should become normal,” Singh said.
An official said the registration process was not over. However, of the 200 employees at the administrative building, roughly 20 per cent had their thumb impression registered because lines on their index fingers could not be read.
An IT employee at the varsity said attendance would be registered only for an hour after office time starts. “Employees are expected to report for work at 10am. So, the maximum grace period they get is till 11am. The time of entry will be electronically recorded and can be reviewed by the vice chancellor and other senior university officials,” he added.
Are employees complaining? “No. It is actually good. We needed something to streamline the workforce. Earlier, employees often came and went at will, which affected administrative work and burdened a few sincere people. Now, distribution of work will be even,” said a senior clerk.
University registrar A.K. Choudhary said punctuality was the key to efficiency. “The attendance register is passé now. So are swipe cards. Welcome to the fingerprint age. Everyone should change with time. We are changing too.”
Ranchi Municipal Corporation was the first government building in the state to launch biometric attendance in 2012. Thereafter, the Assembly too embraced the system in October last year. State-owned Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), which is infamous for flouting rules, is reportedly in the process of streamlining its attendance system with biometric devices within a month.