It's `smart cards' revolution in colleges

Special Correspondent

`Smart Campus' cards have reduced manual work by at least 30 per cent

The cards have been developed by IDenizen, a Bangalore-based firm It is a software package that computerises and integrates activities such as admissions and collection of fees

Bangalore: Thousands of college students are now paying their fees, accessing on-campus computer networks and lab facilities and using vending machines without using cash.

The "smart cards" revolution has swept into more than 22 colleges in the region, including technology education institutions. Even borrowing library books and checking in attendance are being done by students by swiping cards.

"Smart Campus" cards have been developed by IDenizen, a Bangalore-based company, based on the difficulties students go through while dealing with different processes on the campus, says company president, Girish Baliga.

"The smart cards are part of a comprehensive software package that computerises and integrates all activities of a college such as admissions, collection of fees and consolidation of information. This minimises manual work in each department,'' he says. IDenizen first identified the "pain areas" in college administration, which included taking attendance of students, preparing timetables and lecture schedules, tabulating examination marks and preparing lessons. Many non- academic activities were found to be tedious and riddled with errors. The functional areas covered by the smart cards include department administration, staff profile, staff and student attendance, staff payroll, library dealings, accounting interface, hostel administration and student interface. "Feedback shows that the IDenizen Smart Campus package has reduced manual work in colleges by at least 30 per cent. Not just students, even the faculty have more time to add value to their classes. They say that they are now able to prepare lessons, update or reschedule classes, all with the click of a mouse. The faculty can view their salary statement, their attendance and lesson plan on computer screens," says Mr. Baliga.