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Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday announced the state will soon distribute GPS-enabled smartwatches among government employees to track their real-time location and record attendance.

It will mark a progression from the previous roster and the subsequent biometric system by eliminating loopholes that allowed attendance to be manipulated, the CM said.

Already in use in the Panchkula Municipal Corporation and Chandigarh administration, the GPS-enabled monitoring system has triggered protests from workers who have claimed that it breached their privacy.

Addressing a rally in Sohna on Saturday, the CM, however, said the new system will bring about “transparency and accountability in operations, and weed out fake, duplicate and false attendance”. Referring to the manual system of marking attendance in a register before 2014, the year he assumed office after BJP won the state election, Khattar said, “An employee would come to office after a week and put tick marks for all the days in the week in the attendance register. We introduced a biometric system after the formation of our government to bring discipline and regularise attendance of government employees.”

After the implementation of the biometric system some people, however, found ways to manipulate it.

“Some made fake fingerprints (using rubber) and gave it to another person for punching in their attendance in his/her absence,” the CM said, adding that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the biometric system was finally suspended as it posed a risk of spreading the virus.

“I asked my team to find a solution to this dual problem and… found a solution in ‘ghari’ (watches). The watches will function only in the hands of the authorised person. It will send the real-time location of the employees to the central control room and their attendance will be then marked,” Khattar said.

The smartwatches, meant to be worn during working hours, that are used by the Panchkula civic body and Chandigarh administration were provided by ITI, the central government undertaking that also provides an end-to-end solution, including servers, application software, web interface and related MIS reports, officials said.

The watch costs around Rs 7,500 to Rs 8,000 and the government agency has to pay in monthly instalments.

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation was the first to introduce such GPS-enabled wrist watches in 2018 under the Smart City Project.

The chief minister also unveiled a statue of Maharana Pratap and laid the foundation stones of a few development projects.

He also announced projects worth Rs 125 crore for Sohna and said five mega infrastructure projects – Kundli–Manesar–Palwal (KMP) expressway, Orbital railway corridor from Kundli to Palwal, Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, western dedicated railway corridor and Gurugram-Alwar Road — will pass through Sohna and lead to its development.

The CM, meanwhile, acknowledged that the state was facing a shortage of fertilizers but assured farmers that they will get adequate supply and urged them not to hoard.

He also spoke about the misuse of old age pension and other government schemes. “We are creating profiles of each and every resident of the state and categorising them on the basis of their income. The benefits of the government schemes will be provided to only those on the list,” Khattar said.

Sohna has around 38,000 families with an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh, the CM said.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Bagish Jha

Quelle/Source: The Times of India, 24.10.2021

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