Biometric Attendance for Tamil Nadu MGR Medical University Students, Teachers
CHENNAI: Weeks after it received complaints that several college managements were fudging attendance records to help students qualify for examinations, the state medical university has made it mandatory for all medical, dental and paramedical colleges to install biometric attendance devices on their campuses.
From this academic year, students and teachers in the medical, dental and paramedical streams will record their attendance only through the biometric mode, TN Dr MGR Medical University vice-chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said.
The university received complaints in March from senior examiners about attendance of some postgraduate nurses being fudged by certain private colleges. “These students have a basic undergraduate degree that gets them a job in private hospitals,” Dr Natarajan said. “External examiners who interviewed the nursing students during their MSc examinations informed the university that they did not have basic knowledge about their course.”
University officials made discreet inquiries and found that many colleges were faking attendance records. “We weren’t able to prove it, but we can stop the tampering of attendance records,” he said.
The university, he said, also received complaints about teachers being on the rolls of more than one medical college simultaneously. Medical colleges mention names of professors to ensure they get approval from the Medical Council of India to run the institution. The council had in the past found that some doctors in the state were enrolled in two medical colleges at the same time. It examined the issue case by case and withdrew approval to some medical colleges.
“We will be able to monitor this as well,” the vice-chancellor said.
The standing academic board and the governing council of the university passed a resolution making it mandatory for the students to give thumb impressions in digitised attendance systems. Circulars have been sent to 30 undergraduate medical colleges, 26 dental colleges, 147 nursing colleges and other paramedical and allied institutes to inform them that the university will consider only biometric attendance as a valid from this academic year.
“Students will need at least 90% attendance per semester to be able to write their exams,” said controller of examinations Dr Siva Sangeetha. “No manual attendance will be considered valid.”
Only the Central Council for Indian Medicine had previously made it mandatory for colleges use biometric attendance devices.
Private colleges said it could be difficult for them to instal the equipment before the academic year begins. “It might take some time,” the principal of a private medical college said.