The Department of Collegiate Education’s (DCE) move to introduce face identification or biometric device for government college lecturers to mark attendance has come in for strong criticism.
The Karnataka Government College Doctorate Teachers’ Association that comprises more than 500 doctorate teachers has filed an objection to this system, calling the move a “travesty” as many government colleges needed basic infrastructure and not modern devices. “It is the principal who is responsible for ensuring that teachers come on time. Why should we have principals when devices can do their job?” asked H Prakash, president of the association.
He said there were many government first grade colleges in the state that did not have even basic infrastructure, such as libraries, classrooms or independent buildings. “Many colleges are sharing premises with primary schools, while some are functioning from rented buildings. The funds (for these devices) can be used for improving such colleges,” he added. Recently, the DCE disbursed Rs 2.29 crore to government degree colleges to purchase face identification and/or biometric devices to monitor lecturers’ attendance. According to a circular, each of the 359 colleges was given Rs 64,000 in this regard. The DCE also expects the colleges to submit reports on the utilisation of funds and their compliance with the department’s decision.
“The devices have already been installed in many colleges. We have submitted memoranda to the DCE. but no action has been taken,” he added. The DCE officials were unavailable for comment.