India’s Mahatma Gandhi University is going to start testing a biometric time and attendance tracking system for staff starting January 1st.
A thorough administrative process has been agreed upon, with the university’s Registrar being at the top of the hierarchy in terms of managing the system, but it isn’t yet clear what modality (or modalities) will be used. Still, it’s reasonable to speculate that the system could be linked to Aadhaar, the country’s national biometric citizen registry, given its growing prominence in Indian society; and if that is the case, it’s very likely that fingerprint or iris biometrics, or both, will be used to authenticate school staff identities.
These biometric time and attendance systems have proven controversial in other deployments in the country. When such Aadhaar-based systems were rolled out among government departments, there was some foot-dragging—though it seems to have been implemented successfully overall—and more recently, an attempt to introduce biometric attendance tracking at Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology prompted a mass sit-in in protest.
In MGU’s case, however, the move was agreed upon unanimously by all of the school’s employee organizations, and moreover it’s going to be trialled alongside the continued use of traditional employee tracking, so there’s good reason to expect a successful outcome in keeping with the expanding presence of biometric identification technology in India more generally.
Source: The Times of India
December 18, 2015 – by Alex Perala