Temple Priests Resist Biometric Attendance Tracking in India

A civic body charged with ensuring the economic welfare of temple priests (or “archakas”) in India is postponing the implementation of a biometric attendance tracking system due to protests from the archakas.Temple Priests Resists Biometric Attendance Tracking in India

As The Hindu reports, the Archaka Welfare Fund Trust (AWFT) made its decision in response to archaka complaints that implementing biometric attendance tracking “would adversely impact their morale”, since there aren’t clear rules about how archakas should arrange their schedules. Currently, archakas can work odd hours, with some very long days and some periods of leave; but The Hindu reports that a court had ordered government officials to establish some standards as far back as 1997.

The move shows both the growing popularity of biometric technology in India and its limits. Increasing numbers of organizations are embracing biometric attendance tracking, very often in connection with Aadhaar, the country’s national biometric ID program; but clearly there are some areas where the increased scrutiny the technology enables is somehow inappropriate. Still, in postponing the widespread deployment of biometric attendance tracking, the AWFT nevertheless determined that it can still be deployed “in major temples,” according to The Hindu, so it’s fair to expect further proliferation in this area among the many others.

Source: The Hindu

November 25, 2016 – by Alex Perala