An open letter to VC, Central University of Kashmir.

Biometric attendance counts hours not the quality of the hours one spends in the university.
Central University of Kashmir [File]
Central University of Kashmir [File] Special arrangement

BY AAMIR HUSSAIN

Respected sir, we the research scholars of your university are writing to you with the hope that we are heard. This pertains to recently implemented biometric attendance system for research scholars in the university.

No university has this form of attendance for its research scholars. We wonder what compelled our university to come up with such idea. We have been attending university regularly as mandated by UGC norms.

However, the strict timings and the compulsion to check in and check out at particular hours (9am-5pm) is harsh.

Research scholars are academicians in making. Our job is not to fill attendance sheets. Our primary job is to disseminate and contribute to the knowledge production.

We should not be evaluated by how many hours we spend in the university rather by what we contribute to the university through our research. Biometric attendance counts hours not the quality of the hours one spends in the university.

A research scholar has mainly to deal with his/her supervisor. It is the supervisor who guides his/her scholars from beginning to end.

Therefore, the reason for scholars to come to university (especially who are doing research in Humanities and Social sciences) is to have contact with the supervisor.

Biometric attendance is not going to reflect the record of the contact hours between a scholar and his/her supervisor.

A research scholar needs to be in the field, to interact with his/her subjects, to explore and develop new ideas. This can happen only when he/she is given some freedom. However, biometric attendance is denying us this freedom. We are already facing many problems in the university. There isn’t a space for us in the university where we can sit and do our work.

Despite repeated assurance, we haven’t been provided a space. We are made to sit in the browsing center which is open to everyone and in the small library which can’t accommodate all the students at one time. The internet connection in the university is very poor.

There isn’t even a resourceful library in the university. It is because of this poor library, many of us were accessing better resourced libraries of other institutes.

However, with biometric attendance compulsion, we are forced to stay back in the university even when we have nothing productive to do.

There isn’t even a hostel facility in the university. We are told to rent private rooms which are not only expensive but lack basic facilities like regular electricity and water supply. It is because of this that most of us prefer to go to our homes.

Sir, this biometric attendance is only adding to our problems. It is exhausting us physically as well as mentally. In order to improve research ecosystem in the university, let you provide us the basic facilities first. Biometric attendance alone won’t improve it.

Sir, we request you that kindly rollback this order and allow us to do our work in a free environment where we are not judged by number of minutes and seconds we spend in the university.  Thanking in anticipation.

Sincerely yours,

Aamir Hussain

On behalf of research scholars of Central University of Kashmir (CUK).

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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