NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to tame India’s babudom is facing tell tale signs of resistance.
It appears the Babu’s have declared a guerrilla warfare against Modi’s discipline drive. Believe it or not, but it is true.
In less than two months of the Prime Minister’s pet big brother project-- Biometric attendance systems(BAS) implementation, more than 50 such machines, which were installed in various ministries to record the entry and exit time of government officials have been found damaged or even stolen under ‘mysterious circumstances’.
Annoyed with the attitude of the babus, in a missive, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has come out with the shocking piece of information. And culprits of such mischievous act belong to key ministries, which are housed in various government buildings like Shastri Bhavan, Nirman Bhavan, Sewa Bhavan, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Shram Shakti Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan and NIC headquarters.
In a stinker, the Director General, National Informatics Centre, who is a Joint Secretary rank officer in the Ministry of Communication and IT, Ajay Kumar has written to all nodal officers and NIC coordinators raising serious concern at the behavior of the government employees. “It has come to our notice that some biometric attendance terminals installed in your department have been damaged/ vandalised,” Kumar said in his communication dated January16 .
He has also conveyed to the nodal officers that the machines do not have warranty and hence the officials should take steps to replace the damaged machines on a priority basis using their own(ministry/departments) funds. Kumar has also enclosed a detailed list of damaged and stolen biometric attendance systems at various ministries including External Affairs(MEA).
Petroleum, HRD, Sports, Health, Agriculture, Corporate Affairs, Mines etc. Surprisingly, the NIC headquarters, which is the implementing agency of the BAS project, reported the maximum number of damaged attendance machines.
In fact, a team of NIC officials conduct a workshop for the employees to inform them about dos and donts, wherever it installs the BAS. The biometric attendance system (BAS) is part of “Digital India” programme and is currently implemented in the Central government offices located in Delhi. Gradually, the BAS will be expanded to all Central government employees across India and will be applicable to all ministries, departments, autonomous Central government bodies, institutions and Central public unit sectors as well. The NIC has purchased biometric attendance system from a French firm Morpho (Safran), which is linked with the Aadhar card of the employees. The government expects 100 per cent enrolment of employees and all employees present should mark attendance through the centralised biometric attendance system.
According to the dashboard of the attendance.gov.in, which displays real-time information on the attendance status in government offices on basis of the BAS, on Saturday out of the total 93,913 registered employees, 7124 was shown as present from the 1,200 active devices from 427 various departments and ministries .
In the first phase of implementation, the government has installed 1,000 wall- mounted bio-metric attendance terminals, 5,000 fingerprint scanning devices and 200 IRIS devices across various government buildings. The employees will be able to mark their attendance in any of the buildings where biometric terminals and scanners are installed.