Govt makes biometric attendance mandatory for all officials in J&K

Yogesh Sagotra. Updated: 9/23/2022 11:33:54 AM Front Page

Adherence selective at top level, truancy, manipulation still prevalent among employees

Jammu: With truancy and absenteeism having become a habit among government employees over the years, the LG administration came up with a stringent order in June this year making biometric attendance mandatory in all the offices. The order did see ‘roll out’ effect in successive months, albeit its implementation part which still remains voluntarily selective and partial.
In the order issued to this effect the government even asserted that concerned heads shall draw the salaries of employees working in various departments only on the basis of ‘satisfactory’ biometric attendance from July. While the move was taken seriously in terms of installation of machines and initial enthusiasm was ostensible in most of the offices, government’s direction of ensuring punctuality at all levels of hierarchy has proved to be utter disappointment, sources in the Civil Secretariat said.
The move which was essentially sought to be implemented in spirit in order to improve efficiency and productivity by ensuring full working hours has deflated in only few months of zeal. Truancy and lateness syndrome in the past was deeply prevalent in all government offices during successive political governments.
This was prevalent more so because of political backing of these employees, even middle rung and senior officials. Non punctuality, so to say arriving and leaving offices on own whims over the years acquired a permanence. Rather it was seen as a normal scene with majority of employees adhering to own set of timings in the offices as per their convenience. With LG administration issuing a fresh order in respect to ensuring strict adherence to biometric attendance in offices as well as for field staff, some order and discipline was expected to be in place. That was however, not to be as violation has begun this time from the higher level, sources said admitting that most of higher rank officials seldom use the machines whereas there is nowhere in the order that it is only for lower rung employees. In order words those who have to monitor strict adherence to biometric attendance are themselves not using it. Officers have shun it perhaps as a matter of their prestige, not obligatory practice for them. Gradually, employees at all levels have either stopped the practice or they are manipulating it to their own needs, confirmed another source in one of the important departments in Secretariat.
Similar is the situation in outside offices where biometric machines stand installed but not serving the purpose. However, things have improved to a considerable level only in education sector where teachers used to play truancy to hilt and for justifying their absence for longer period, they had developed connivance with administrative staff with corrupt practices.
Updated On 9/23/2022 12:17:50 PM

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