January 26, 2015 -
Less than two months after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested the implementation of biometric attendance systems (BAS), over 50 of the machines have been found damaged or stolen, according to a report by New Indian Express’ The Sunday Standard.
The biometric time and attendance machines are being installed in various ministries for the purpose of recording the entry and exit times of government officials.
Ajay Kumar, the director general of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and secretary rank officer in the ministry of communication and IT, has sent out a memo to officers and NIC coordinators reprimanding the behavior of the government employees.
He goes on to explain that the devices are not covered under warranty and therefore, officials must take the appropriate action to replace the damaged or missing machines using the ministry’s/department’s own funds.
Kumar also included a list detailing the damaged and stolen biometric attendance systems at various ministries, including external affairs. petroleum, human resource development, sports, health, agriculture, corporate affairs, and mines housed at the government offices of Shastri Bhawan, Nirman Bhawan, Sewa Bhawan, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Shram Shakti Bhawan, Krishi Bhawan and NIC headquarters.
NIC headquarters, which is the implementing agency of the BAS project as well as its headquarters and also houses its server, was found to have the largest number of damaged attendance machines.
Prior to installing BAS in a ministry, NIC officials held workshops to instruct employees on how to use the system.
As part of “Digital India” program, BAS is currently being implemented in the central government offices in Delhi. The system will be expanded to all central government employees across India as well as all ministries, departments, autonomous Central government bodies, institutions and Central public unit sectors.
The biometric attendance system was purchased from Morpho (Safran), which is used in combination with the employee’s Aadhar card.
Previously reported, India’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology has implemented an Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system in 54 government centers in Delhi to monitor all employees entering and exiting the offices.
In its first phase of implementation, the government has already installed 1,000 wall mounted biometric attendance terminals, 5,000 fingerprint scanning devices and 200 iris recognition devices across multiple government buildings.