The Telegraph
Friday , March 21 , 2014
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Beep! Babus, say present please
- Chief secy’s plea on biometric attendance

Babus, bunking office or coming late to work will no longer be tolerated.

Chief secretary R.S. Sharma wants every IAS officer in the main secretariat, Project Building, to use Aadhaar-enabled biometric attendance system to record their entry and exit times.

The idea is to usher in more transparency in bureaucratic functioning.

A secretariat official, not willing to be named, told The Telegraph that a notice to this effect was issued to a section of IAS officers on Tuesday after it was brought to Sharma’s knowledge that they were not using the system.

Among those who got the notice include law secretary Bimlendu Bhusan Mangal Murty, labour secretary Rahul Sharma, transport and civil aviation secretary Sajal Chakraborty, planning secretary D.K. Tiwari, tourism secretary Vishnu Kumar, forest secretary Alka Tiwari, welfare secretary L. Khiangte and health secretary B.K. Tripathi.

Sharma admitted sending the letter, but said it was not any official notice.

“I will not say that I have issued any notice. It will send out a wrong message. In my words, it is simply a formal request. I know that the IAS officers cannot mark their attendance when travelling on official duty. I only want that they should use the system if present in their offices, as they are part of the state discipline too,” Sharma said.

According to the official, Sharma, in his letter, stressed on the compulsory use of the system by the senior officials, reasoning that then only they would gain a moral right to convince their juniors to do the same.

Notably, each departmental secretary has been made responsible for ensuring the system is operational in each block of the state from April 1.

The official further said that the letter suggested that no one — be it principal secretary or secretary or chief secretary — would be exempted.

The biometric attendance system is a data-based analytical system to map real-time attendance. Each tablet registers attendance by scanning user thumb or fingerprints placed on its touchscreen.

In Jharkhand, the department of information technology has been made the nodal department for providing and commissioning of the biometric attendance set-up at a place chosen by the secretaries.

The department also looks after the maintenance while an appointed nodal officer takes care of the system.