The general administration department of Kerala has ordered the implementation of a biometric attendance system for all state government offices within the next six months, reports Mathrubhumi. All government offices, including educational institutions, that receive salaries through the SPARK software – comprising over 5.5 lakh government employees – will come under the new attendance system.

Currently, main government offices including the Secretariat have the biometric attendance system linked with the SPARK salary software. Earlier, the department had said the system would be mandatory in all government offices, after which a technical committee was formed to study the system. Government departments and offices will either purchase these machines by themselves or through Keltron.

Meanwhile, in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu, the Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) for teaching and non-teaching staff in government high schools and higher secondary schools is set to come into force on May 6, per The Hindu. AEBAS is being introduced in 136 government high schools and higher secondary schools and 48 government-aided schools in the first phase. Biometric fingerprint machines have been distributed to all these schools in 3 educational districts – Ramanathapuram, Paramakudi, and Mandapam.

Madras HC threw out petition challenging Aadhaar-based attendance for teachers

The implementation of AEBAS in Tamil Nadu comes after the Madras HC rejected a petition filed by a teacher of a government school, challenging the system. Instead, the court instructed the government to implement the system as expeditiously as possible. The court observed that the Supreme Court’s Aadhaar judgment was inapplicable as the petitioner was a public servant. “The concept of public employment in the government is contractual in nature”, and the employees declare to abide by the Service Rules and other conditions imposed by the Tamil Nadu Government while accepting the offer of appointment, the court said.

Meanwhile, the state health department of either Telangana or Karnataka is planning to install biometric attendance system across state-run hospitals, primary health centres, and community health centres to ensure proper attendance of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff.