February 6, 2013 -
A scam involving collusion between officials at the social welfare department in India with contractors has been exposed, thanks to a biometric thumbprint identity verification devices.
The department, which installed the thumbprint devices in 280 hostels around Karnataka found that only 35% of students were actually staying in the hostels. Officials, it is alleged, were creating false bills for the supply of food in conjunction with the contractors providing the food.
Having noticed this collusion, the state government has now decided to install the biometric devices at all 4,144 hostels in the state, DNA India reports.
“To put an end to various malpractices and bring in transparency we have decided to install biometric scanners and CCTV cameras at all the hostels across the state. In the future, the attendance of students will get registered on an intranet and higher officials in the department will access all the data,” Social welfare minister A. Narayanaswamy said. “The movement of officials will also come under the scanner and a lackadaisical approach to inspection of hostels will hopefully cease.”
Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation school board in India has proposed a biometric attendance system in 456 primary schools by June 2013 as the state and school board look to address absenteeism amongst faculty.
A similar system has also been planned at the Vinboa Bhave University, angering teachers who say the move is an attempt to divert attention from real problems afflicting higher education, like reluctance among students to attend classes.