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After making yoga compulsory for students in government-run primary schools, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to implement biometric attendance systems for over 1.5 crore children enrolled in 1.5 lakh primary schools within the next six months.
Uttar Pradesh Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi has made the announcement that students can now "put their thumb impressions between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m."
The system would check attendance and bring down the dropout rate, the minister said. The facility would also help check anomalies like bogus and inflated enrolment.
"The number of students enrolled in primary schools is huge, so, we have kept the timing flexible. The Panchayati Raj Department will ensure the effective working of biometric system," Dwivedi said.
School staff will also mark their attendance with the biometric system.
Dwivedi said that instructions have been issued to Panchayati Raj officials to ensure sweepers clean school premises every day.
"As an MLA, I have received complaints about absentee sweepers and pradhan forging their signatures. Now, sweepers will also have to mark their attendance themselves every day," he said.
Sources said it will take between three to six months to equip schools with biometric attendance systems. The SIM card in biometric machines will enable data transfer to the server. Electricity supply is an issue in some cases, but it is also being worked out.
The Basic Education Department recently sent a team to study the implementation of biometric attendance model in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi.
"It has been yielding good results. We are in the stage of finalising the specifications," said an official.
There is a proposal submitted to the Chief Minister regarding biometric attendance for non-education officials like Panchayati Raj Secretary, Revenue officials, and Asha workers as well.