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  • Deccan Chronicle

OU professors breach biometric attendance system

Hyderabad: Osmania University mandated biometric attendance for all teaching and non-teaching staff members in the Arts College to ensure punctuality, track faculty attendance, and minimise absenteeism. However, several lecturers habitually skip classes because they have not yet registered with the Aadhar-based biometric system, which has a significant negative influence on the education of the students.

When S. Ramachandram served as Vice Chancellor in 2017, the iris and fingerprint-based biometric system was implemented to improve faculty attendance at the university. Six years after the biometric system's implementation, students continue to habitually wait for their lecturers, engage in conversation while they wait, and then leave without hearing a lecture since the higher authorities have not fully adopted and implemented the biometric attendance system.

According to a professor who spoke on the condition of anonymity with Deccan Chronicle, faculty absenteeism and erratic attendance were jeopardising the academic performance of Arts College students. “The lecturer's absence surely has an impact on the students' lives and education. Students have suffered due to the departments' lack of instructors, and some academics receive more than Rs 1 lakh pay while doing nothing," he claimed.

Students from a well-known Arts College department have reported that a professor who is frequently featured in the media and on YouTube has been missing from the department for days. Instead of giving lectures in the university, they claimed, he is doing so on news channels.

An assistant professor from an Arts College department who is on contract revealed, under the condition of anonymity, that some of the permanent professors are not showing up to the departments since they are not registered with the biometric attendance system. She claimed that they arrive and depart whenever they like.

According to the assistant professor, some teachers are allegedly skipping lectures to attend personal work while students wait for their lectures at the university. She advises that in order to increase transparency and enhance the university's educational system, the institution should firmly implement biometric attendance for both the faculty and students.

Jeevan, a student leader and researcher, said in an interview with Deccan Chronicle that numerous Osmania University teachers receive supplementary pay for administrative duties. For years, teachers on campus have discharged at least two to four additional charges that are unrelated to teaching. He claimed that because academics are frequently too preoccupied with other administrative responsibilities to offer lectures, students suffer from the departments' lack of faculty availability.

According to Prof. Pappula Laxminarayana, Registrar of OU, "Every faculty member is following biometric norms and attending classes consistently and without fail. However, if a biometric attendance violation occurs, stringent action would be taken against the errant employees.” He claimed that the issue of faculty absenteeism did not come to his notice. The Registrar warned that all faculty members, whether teaching or not, must abide by the norms and policies of the institution or else they risk being held accountable.

Professor Chinta Ganesh, the principal of the Arts College, said that he monitors most departments on a daily basis. “Over 40 professors are discharging their duties every day in the college. We hold review meetings once a month to discuss necessary changes in the departments’ functioning.” He vowed to look into the issue and take appropriate measures against them if there is a breach in biometric attendance.

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