Image for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)
Image for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)

Odisha's 5T charter on higher education brings digital attendance for students

On the same note, biometric attendance will be integrated centrally for teachers to enhance teaching

In a meeting held recently on the 5T charter pertaining to Odisha's Higher Education Department, it was decided that digital attendance will be made mandatory in all government and non-government degree colleges. The move aims to ensure and enhance students' participation in the classroom learning process.

At present, attendance in colleges is marked manually by the faculty and the same is considered valid for appearing in examinations. The Higher Education Department mandates 75 per cent attendance for students to be eligible to appear for the final semester examinations, while remedial classes are offered to students with low attendance so that they can reach the minimum attendance level, as per a report by The New Indian Express.

On the same note, biometric attendance will be integrated centrally by the Higher Education Department's IT team for teachers. It has also been decided that the project monitoring unit of the department will conduct programmes to motivate faculty members of both colleges and universities to improve their performance.

Recently, the department received allegations from students across all higher educational institutions (HEIs) that faculty members were not spending the required seven hours on campuses despite a biometric system being in place. Biometric attendance for teachers was made compulsory in all colleges by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 2014 amid allegations of faculty skipping classes on campuses to teach tutorials.

The decision to enable active career counselling cells at universities was also made in the meeting. It was presided over by Arvind Agarwal, Commissioner, Higher Education Department. The officials decided to prepare specific guidelines for National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) visits to institutions. The HEIs that earn good NAAC grades would be incentivised, as per TNIE.