V-C on his way out, univ goes easy on biometric system

Fed up with employee resistance to biometric attendance system, officials at Pune University allow manual method

EvenĀ as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pune (UoP) held his final meeting with the press yesterday, talks of indiscipline among university staff members have begun to spread. The first sign of unrest was seen with the battle for succession. Camps began to form over who would be the next vice-chancellor and prospective candidates began to voice their desire in open forums.

Standing uneasy? The University of Pune main building. Even before
the vice-chancellor's exit, signs of unrest are visible on campus. File pic

This carefree attitude is said to have percolated to the lower-rung employees as well, and the next victim seems to be the biometric attendance system meant to record entry and exit timings of staff members electronically. This was introduced in a bid to improve efficiency.

"It was never popular right from the beginning and many staff members felt it was too much of micro-management. It was met with quite some resistance in the beginning, but later some departments started co-operating. People cited technical glitches as reasons for not marking attendance, and it has never been able to record attendance of the staff," said a professor.

Finally, fed with the consistent issues with the system of marking attendance as well as employees' resistance, registrar M L Jadhav issued a formal circular stating that while the biometric system of attendance would continue, manual registers would also be kept for those wanting to enter attendance in them.

A senior clerk in the exam section said that indiscipline among the employees was not a new issue.
"When the V-C announced his resignation at a public forum, he agreed that the UoP was one of the best universities in the country. But many people are rigid and indisciplined, and this attitude needs to change for the varsity to maintain and elevate its position," he said.

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