Nagesh Prabhu

The hand-held device costs

Rs. 7,500

It records attendance after reading fingerprint

BANGALORE: To ensure regular attendance in all subject classes in Government First Grade Colleges in the State, the Department for Collegiate Education has decided to install portable biometric fingerprint authenticators in all colleges under its jurisdiction this academic year.

The department has installed the device in 10 government colleges and it has started yielding positive results. The device is designed and developed by a Bangalore-based company, Manvish e-Tech Private Ltd. in collaboration with State-owned Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS). The device, which is the size of a cell phone, costs Rs. 7,500, according to sources in the Department for Collegiate Education.

In the beginning of this academic year, three devices each were provided to Maharani Arts College, and Government Science College, Bangalore; Government Arts College, Tumkur; Government Boys College, Mandya; Maharani College, Mysore; Government First Grade Colleges in Karwar, Bijapur, Bellary, Gulbarga and Hassan districts. The private engineering colleges in Tumkur and Bangalore had been using the device to record students’ attendance and academic performance, the official said.

The students had to swipe their fingers on the device to register their attendance in the class. “A digital hand-held biometric device automatically captures the attendance of the enrolled students” said S. Madan Gopal, Director, Business Development, Manvish.

To check boycott

The department decided to use biometric devices to check “boycotting of classes” by students in government colleges. Nearly, two lakh students enrolled in 349 government colleges in the State. The pass percentage in government colleges was less compared to the results in private colleges. The percentage pass in government colleges was 37 in 2001-02, 40 in 2002-03, 52 in 2003-04, 49 in 2004-05, 53 in 2005-06.

The use of the device would help track attendance of students in each class in a day. This would discourage students from playing truant, the official said.

The attendance registered in the device could be downloaded through web-enabled application software that is hosted on a centrally located server in the college premises. At present, although access is provided to faculty and management in all 10 colleges. .