Attendance gizmos on university radar
Patna: The Patna University administration has decided to install biometric machines on the university campus, postgraduate departments and colleges to regularise attendance of students, teachers and non-teaching staff.
In the first phase, the machine will be installed on the university campus and post-graduate departments, and in the second phase at the colleges. As the varsity has decided to install biometric attendance machines in postgraduate departments and at the headquarters in the first phase, teachers, non-teaching staff and research scholars will be covered.
"The varsity has purchased machines and it will be installed at the university headquarters and the postgraduate departments by the first week of January," Patna University vice-chancellor Rash Bihari Prasad Singh said.
The decision was taken on a directive from the chancellor's office. Governor-cum-chancellor of universities in Bihar, Satya Pal Malik asked for installation of the machine at universities during a higher education review meeting on December 18 that was attended by vice-chancellors.
"As students' class timing is different we have left students out in the first phase," the Patna University VC said. "But we are working on modalities to develop a system to cover the students ."
The case of biometric attendance is almost two years old. The chancellor's office has on several occasions asked varsities to install it. Despite repeated instructions from the chancellor's office, it was not installed at the varsity. This time, the chancellor's office gave the university last chance. It told them to install it in post-graduate departments and the university campus by March and in the colleges by June.
Teachers are sceptical about the system's success at Patna University. "With severe faculty crunch, Patna University teachers are not teaching in any particular department or college," Patna University teachers' association president Randhir Kumar Singh said. "There are teachers who are teaching both post-graduate as well as undergraduate students. In such a situation, how can their attendance be monitored?"
"I teach PG department students as well as undergraduate students at Patna Science College," a PU science teacher said on condition of anonymity. "How will my attendance be marked if biometric attendance is introduced?"