VISAKHAPATNAM : THE state government decision of introducing bio-metric attendance for the students, teaching and non-teaching staff of all universities and its affiliated colleges this academic year has the authorities racing against time for its implementation. With the institutions all set to reopen after summer vacation, the university authorities have been running from pillar to post to procure the biometric cards, readers, installation of software and other equipment. The attendance system will be introduced in 16 universities and 900 colleges in the state.
In a bid to check irregularities related to claiming scholarships, fee reimbursements and monitor students’ and staff performances, the government has directed the universities and government degree colleges to introduce bio-metric systems with 15 features. As the project calls for a huge expenditure, the universities, especially which were set up in 2008, are facing a tough time.
In visakahapatnam, Andhra University with 4,500 staff (teaching and non-teaching), over 10,500 students and hundreds of affiliated colleges need to make arrangement for around 1 lakh biometric cards. Similarly, Aadikavi Nannayya University at Rajamahendravaram and BR Ambedkar University in Srikaulam have around 2,300 staffers and students. Both the universities now have to procure over 1.75 lakh cards, if the staff and student strength of its affiliated colleges is taken into account.
“The decision is very good. But, making an arrangement on such a massive scale in a short period is a Herculean task. During the recent series of video conferences with the top bosses of the Higher Education department, we have been directed to ensure arrangement for bio-metric attendance at any cost. But, we have no clue as to from where the funds will come,” a registrar of a university said requesting anonymity.
The bio-metric system will have 15 features. Apart from attendance, the bio-metric cards will be linked up with the users’ Aadhaar details, leaves, health details, caste and sub-caste and reservation details. The system would also be interlinked to Social Welfare, BC Welfare, Tribal Welfare and Minority Welfare departments. For every 60 members, one biometric reader has to be installed which will identify a person through thumb impression while reporting for the duties and classes.
“We are on the job. Talks are on with the National Informatics Centre. So far, there is no clarity about the cost we will incur on each user. We are working on the logistics. But, We need about 15,000 bio-metric cards and 250 card readers and other equipment to set up the system,” said M Uma Maheswara Rao, AU registrar.
The govt has given administrative sanction for `375 crore for eight universities recently. But the Finance department has to sanction the funds. How can we manage the funds? There are no buildings, teaching staff and labs. Leaving all these aside, the government is stressing on bio-metric attendance A vice-chancellor