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Anti COVID-19 measures: University in Maharashtra to introduce facial recognition for attendance

The Punyalok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur University in Solapur, Maharashtra better known as PAH Solapur University is looking to introduce facial recognition-based attendance system for its 300 employees, according to tender documents reviewed by MediaNama.This follows the trend of several government institutions adopting facial recognition system for attendance to avoid contact-based mechanisms due to COVID-19. A tender issued by the university on April 19, 2021 invited bids for "procuring two face reading machines required to record attendance of staff". Devendranath Mishra, the pro-vice chancellor of the university confirmedthe development to MediaNama. "Earlier we had biometric, fingerprint based attendance system. But due to Covid-19 we are going for this. As of now we are only going ahead for the 300 employees in the university," he said. According to the tender, the university has requested the following parameters for the face reading machines: Apart from this, the university requires a foolproof system based on liveness-detection algorithms to avoid impersonation/fraud, recognise beards and hairstyles, recognise partial face occlusion and detect masks. It has also specified that the system should be battery powered and be able to detect faces from 1 metre. The university also underlined that the required devices should be registered with Bureau of Indian Standards under the Compulsory Registration Scheme (CRS) of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY). This development comes at a time when several government institutions are taking the facial recognition path for recording attendance of stakeholders. As MediaNama reported before, Ministry of Defence has invited tenders through its…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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