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Monday, October 13, 2014

Government website throws up shocking attendance figures

Blame it on Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu. He made a couple of surprise visits to his ministry in June and July and a government attendance website was launched, which is throwing up stunning figures of attendance in central government offices. If is to be believed, nearly 40% of central government employees tend to be absent from work on any single working day of the week. is a live website and tracks attendance minute by minute
For example, on Friday, October 10, of 50,587 central government employees registered with, the recently launched "attendance website"  by the Modi government, only 27,553 were present. The remaining 22,000 odd employees had not turned up for work for whatever reason.
The story of this bureaucratic-lethargy started when, soon after taking charge of the Urban development ministry, Naidu checked into Nirman Bhavan, once on June 12, and then on July 28. "That is when late coming to office was noticed. Shri Naidu then directed ministry officials to take necessary measures to ensure punctuality at work," says a PIB note issued on August 13.
Very soon biometric attendance marker systems were installed in Nirman Bhavan. Other ministries followed suit, and the 'Babu' was forced to answer to an electronic roll-call, mornings and evenings. was simultaneously launched. It took some days but now the website is in full flow, and throwing up numbers that tell the story in numbers.
Modelled on the lines of Jharkhand government's attendance website, it has a dashboard which gives an overview of daily attendance activity of every employee registered with it, and will very soon become a centralised database of and for all central government employees.
The numbers on show that the biometric attendance system has so far not done much to change Babu-behaviour. Playing truant continues though "late coming to office" might have stopped to an extent.
The figures are graphic on Bureaucratic-lethargy is seen across the board, cutting across ministries and departments. For instance, in Naidu's ministry of urban development (MOUD), where it all started, 345 employees were present on Friday, out of a total of 463 biometric-registered employees.
Other departments did not depart from the script. Out of the 1006 self-registered and department-verified employees of the department of rural development, only 429 marked attendance on Friday. In the case of ministry of water resources, the numbers were 1034 and 439. Directorate general of supplies and disposals (DGS&D): 1143 and 409. Department of Science: 351/889. The total at all these four departments: 3487/9846.
In CPWD, which too is governed by the MOUD, of the 6444 registered employees, on 754 were on attendance on Friday. Contacted by dna, CPWD's nodal officer for biometric attendance, K C Singh, said, "I am not competent to speak on this issue." He was dead serious. A call to the Ministry of Finance elicited a somewhat similar reply. The person who answered the call said, "Please call on Monday. I do not know the name of the nodal officer."
As of Friday, 149 government organisations & departments had registered with this unique attendance website. More are expected to sign in. The ubiquitous Babu is finally under the scanner, and unwilling to talk of the experience. is doing all the talking.

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