The faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad (JNTU-H) are asking the school to implement a biometric attendance and payroll system. The request comes courtesy of the Telangana School’s and Technical College’s Employees Association (TSTCEA), which alleges that JNTU-H (and other private schools in India) arbitrarily removed staff from their employee rosters without giving them the proper notice, and without due cause during the pandemic.
In that regard, the TSTCEA is essentially arguing that JNTU tried to take advantage of COVID-19 lockdowns to get around established workplace policies. The organization believes that a biometric identification system would prevent such abuses of employee rights, and create more transparency with regards to the school’s hiring, firing, and payroll decisions.
“There is a need to identify such illegitimately removed employees at every college and bring them back on the rolls,” said TSTCEA President A Santosh Kumar. “To stop such practices of private colleges, there is an immediate need to recommence biometric attendance of staff at every college.”
The proposed system would identify faculty with face and iris recognition. Teachers would be asked to use it when they show up to teach an online class, and the biometric scan would serve as proof of attendance and confirm that teachers are in fact showing up to do their jobs. The system would also help with payroll, so employees would know exactly when salary payments are being sent, and when the money will show up in their bank accounts.
The TSTCEA petition was sent to the vice chancellor of JNTU-H, and specifically comes from faculty members teaching engineering, pharmacy and MBA courses. It noted JNTU-H should already have an electronic clearance system under India’s current pay structure regulations.
The Indian government has required biometric attendance tracking for students at junior science colleges since 2018, and Mantra Softech has since advocated for the more widespread use of biometric technology. The country has expanded its use of biometrics through the Aadhaar national ID program, which is currently being used to facilitate India’s vaccine rollout.
Source: The Times of India
July 12, 2021 – by Eric Weiss