Public institutions in India will soon be resuming their use of contact-based biometric sensors. Biometric authentication had been mandatory for all government employees prior to the pandemic, but the Indian central government was one of several institutions that suspended the practice due to health concerns following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The problem, of course, is that the government was relying on shared sensors, and thousands of people could end up touching those sensors over the course of a single day. The government is trying to take those health concerns into account, and has indicated that employees will need to sanitize their hands both before and after they use the sensors to clock in at work.
Department heads will be responsible for making sure that each check-in station is stocked with a sufficient supply of sanitizer. The government will still enforce other health and safety measures, including social distancing and mask requirements. Employees are still encouraged to opt for video conferencing rather than in-person meetings, and administrators have been given the go-ahead to install more biometric machines if the lobby gets too crowded.
Biometric check-in will once again be required for government employees on November 8. Delhi University will reintroduce a similar requirement on that same day. The University’s biometric attendance program will have the same health and safety measures as that of the central government, but has stressed that the biometric stations should be deployed outside if at all possible. If the stations must be deployed inside, they should be placed in a well-ventilated area, and each department will be asked to provide orientation to make sure that each employee is familiar with the institution’s safety protocols.
November 5, 2021 – by Eric Weiss