Annamalai University, now under the governance of the State government-appointed administrator Shiv Das Meena, has started introducing the smart photo identity card and biometric attendance systems in all its departments in a phased manner.
The new facility would enable the university to do away with the bulky and unwieldy registers handled manually. Moreover, it would facilitate the university to compile the database on all the teaching and non teaching staff and feed this into a centralised server for easy access.
The smart photo identity cards would have an embedded chip containing the details such as name, department and service details of the staff. The bio-readers would be installed at every department for the staff to punch the incoming and outgoing timings.
The bio-reader could be activated by the production of the smart photo identity card and putting the thumb impression on its screen.
As the system would enforce the rigours of discipline and punctuality there exists muted resentment among a section of staff.
Earlier, certain teaching faculty used to take attendance for granted by turning up at the departments just minutes before their classes were due. For instance, those who had to handle the second hour class would be absent in the first hour and those who had free hours in the evenings would leave early.
However, with the introduction of the new system a sense of accountability has been induced upon the staff. For, it has made it mandatory for the staff to stay on the campus for eight hours, regardless of the number of hours they handle the classes.
As per the new regimen it is required upon the faculty of engineering to report for duty from 8 a.m. onwards but before 8.31 a.m. and leave the departments from 4.31 pm onwards.
The office staff would have to be present in their seats from 9.15 am onwards but before 9.46 am and take leave from 5.46 pm onwards.
There is an opinion among the teaching staff that in terms of attendance they could not be equated with the non-teaching staff because those handling the professional courses are fully alive to their responsibility and work beyond stipulated hours.
When contacted, Mr. Meena told this correspondent that the new system had many advantages. Earlier examining the manual registers of all the departments was a time-consuming and exhausting affair.
Under the new system the attendance details of any staff could be obtained in a trice.