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Teachers blocking biometric attendance,DU faces contempt notice

Delhi high court Teachers absent during work hours,university fears they will go on strike if biometric system is enforced: Petitioner.

New Delhi |
April 25, 2013 2:24:51 am

Delhi high court Teachers absent during work hours,university fears they will go on strike if biometric system is enforced: Petitioner.

Months after it directed Delhi University to implement a biometric attendance register system for the teaching faculty,the Delhi High Court has issued notice to Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh and Registrar Alka Sharma over a contempt petition filed earlier this week.

Justice G S Sistani has sought replies and the matter is listed for August 7.

The petitioner,Indian Council of Legal Aid & Advice,has said “it appears that no follow-up action to implement the assurance” given to the court has been taken by the university “due to opposition… fearing retaliatory actions such as strikes,demonstrations,dharna,etc from the teachers and their unions”.

According to the petitioner,“teachers have been protesting and collecting signatures from students during working hours against the proposed changes in the curriculum whereas the UGC notification of 2010 mandates that the teachers must be present in their colleges and departments for a significant period of time,at least for five hours during working hours to take classes and interact with students.”

“Had a system of attendance such the biometric system been in place to ensure the presence of teachers in their colleges and departments,such undesirable and unwarranted activities of teachers such as frequenting Metro stations,gates of the campus,Central Secretariat etc to meet and engage students and members of the public against proposed changes in the curriculum,and consequent wastage of teaching hours and absence from colleges during working hours,would not have taken place,” the petitioner said.

In September 2012,the High Court disposed a writ petition after Delhi University gave an assurance that it 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”.

While a biometric attendance system is in place for the non-teaching staff of the university,a similar proposal for teachers has met with opposition from the faculty.

The petitioner has urged the High Court to direct the university to “indicate what steps it has taken so far to implement the assurance” it gave. It also asked the court to direct the university to “ensure that such a system is in place positively before the start of the next academic session”.

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