Delhi University (DU) Wednesday assured the Delhi High Court that it would “expeditiously” adopt and implement the biometricattendance system for teachers to ensure punctuality.
Following the assurance, the court disposed of a plea seeking introduction of biometric attendance system for DU teachers.
“On the assurance given by the university, the court hopes and expects that biometric system of attendance would be introduced expeditiously,” said the division bench of Acting Chief Justice and A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.
Last month, the court had issued notice to DU authorities after a public interest litigation (PIL), filed by an organisation called Indian Council of Legal Aid and Advice, sought the introduction of the biometric system to register the attendance of lecturers and other teaching staff of the university.
The affidavit filed by the registrar said: “The University of Delhi is committed to adopt and implement measures which are favourable and beneficial to the university system as a whole, such as the biometric system of attendance for its teachers in order to ensure their presence in colleges and ensure the participation of all teachers in the teaching/learning process.”
It added that the varsity was committed to implement the system in order to obviate chances of irregularity or mischief in maintaining correct record of attendance of each teacher, but sought cooperation from teachers in this regard.
“The teachers after the implementation of sixth pay commission have lucrative pay packets and are expected to fully justify the trust and confidence reposed by the society on them by working tirelessly for the betterment of the taught so as to prepare them for facing the challenges of life with confidence and knowledge,” read the affidavit.
The teachers are not expected to stall the move, which is aimed at uplifting the standards of teaching facilities, according to the reply filed by DU.
The PIL had said that the attendance system should be introduced to ensure that a teacher “adheres to the teaching hours and days prescribed by the UGC (University Grants Commission) and the university rules”.
R.K. Saini, counsel for the petitioner, had earlier said that the UGC in its regulations in 2010 provided that “universities and colleges must adopt at least 180 working days, that means there should be minimum of 30 weeks of actual teaching”.
The PIL also said that as per the UGC norms, the workload of teachers should not be less than 40 hours a week for 180 teaching days, apart from being available for at least five hours daily in the college.
“The working hours actually being put in by a lecturer/assistant professor/teacher in Delhi University daily are just about three and half hours,” the petition said.
The plea said it seemed that the university was not implementing the biometric system under pressure from teacher unions.
In December 2009, the university unsuccessfully tried to introduce the University Grants Commission.