Its ePunch Time!

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IIT KGP is all set to digitize its classroom attendance with a bio-metric system as part of the smart campus project of the Institute.

With the growing number of students, attendance keeping has become a time-consuming activity. Though the current teacher-student ratio for classroom teaching at IIT KGP is 1:13.5, but average class strength, especially for undergraduate students, range from 40 – 90. The attendance takes about 10-12 minutes of the 1-hour classes.

Sample gadgets have been acquired which will be tested on a pilot basis in the ongoing Spring semester. Both fixed and portable bio-metric machines will be tried in this phase. While the fixed machines will be stationed in the entry location of the classrooms, the portable machines will be carried by the teachers and programmed to record attendance for specific classes. The attendance data will be uploaded on a real-time basis and mapped directly to the students’ ERP profile.

“Biometric attendance will not only save time but also the most effective way of recording attendance. We have an indigenously built ERP supported by a team of experts which enables us to run system and process data in-house,” said Prof. S K Bhattacharyya, Deputy Director, IIT Kharagpur.

The pilot testing will be done for large classes of first-year students. These classes are attended by 90 students daily. Based on the test result, the bio-metric system is expected to be fully launched in the new academic year 2019-20, confirmed Deputy Director Prof. Bhattacharyya.

Few students who did not want to be identified, said that while they would miss the proxies, they are looking forward to more interactions in the classroom and discussions during the time that would be saved by the installation of bio-metrics.

The Institute is going to take up more initiatives in the area of upgrading facilities pertaining to smart classrooms and campus in the new academic year.

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