The Indian Government - one of the world's largest biometric time and attendance implementations

The Indian government real time attendance system

A recent story in the UK and Indian press highlighted the case of Mr Verma, an executive engineer at the Central Public Works Department in New Delhi who declined to turn up to work for 24 years. Apparently he is not alone!

Absenteeism is such a problem in the Indian public sector that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is rolling out a government developed biometric ‘clocking in’ system for all public sector employees in New Delhi, the Aadhaar enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS).

Improved punctuality, reduced absenteeism

Babus, as Indian public sector employees are known colloquially, now have to sign in at work using biometric finger print recognition terminals (which stops any form of ‘buddy clocking’, where one employee ‘clocks’ another in). Clocking in terminals are located at building entry and exit points, more senior staff have personal devices attached to their workstations.

Prime Minister Modi gave the go ahead for the New Delhi biometric time and attendance system in July 2014, by October 2014 the system was up and running across 148 New Delhi government departments recording the comings and goings of over 50,000 employees. The attendance system now covers nearly 400 departments with over 86,000 employees using more than 3,000 biometric clocking in terminals. The longer term plan is to roll the system out across all state governments.

According to an article in India Today, “An analysis of the last three months show that employees are spending nearly twenty minutes extra in office every day. If this is converted into man-days with an average of 8.5 hours per working day, the gain is equivalent to an additional workforce of almost 1,900 employees every single day.” This will certainly help Prime Minister Modi in his aim to make the Indian public sector more efficient.

What’s more, the attendance stats are available online in real time, part of a drive for greater transparency in Indian government.

No joking matter

The man behind the project, Ram Sewak Sharma, now Secretary at the Department of Electronics and Information Technology pioneered the project in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand where he says, “There were people spending huge amounts of time in office,” … “some jokers” weren’t turning up for work at the secretariat in Jharkhand’s capital, Ranchi. “This creates a huge disincentive for people to remain in office.”

Quoted in The Indian Express, Santosh Kumar Satapathy the Principal Secretary in Jharkhand’s Department of Personnel, “We have also linked their salaries to this project. If someone comes later than 10.30 am for three days or leaves before 6 pm, an SMS is sent to their mobile informing her or him that an automatic casual leave has been recorded.”

But the data is also used in other ways, “When there were allegations that government officials from Bihar were skipping work on Fridays and going home, we were able to prove them wrong by showing the MIS, which showed no blip on Fridays.”

Whilst this Indian in-house developed time and attendance project is on a massive scale, we can provide cost effective biometric real time clocking in systems for customers with five to thousands of employees, single or multiple sites.

If punctuality and absenteeism are causing problems for your organisation get in touch to find out how our time and attendance solutions can help you.

Additional sources:

Quartz | Reuters | The Daily Telegraph

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