Now, Aadhaar to check truant govt doctors

Now, Aadhaar to check truant govt doctors

In a major reform, the state government will introduce an Aadhaar-based attendance system to check absenteeism of doctors and paramedics at government colleges and hospitals attached to them.

This is in response to repeated complaints about doctors absenting themselves and that some of them skip work to run their private clinics.

The introduction of a centralised Aadhaar-based attendance system also gains importance in the backdrop of the state rolling out the Arogya Karnataka universal health coverage scheme.

For starters, some five medical colleges will be chosen for pilot testing of the new system, additional chief secretary (Medical Education) V Manjula told DH. “Right now, there is a biometric attendance system in place, but we don’t have access to it. For instance, when we receive a complaint about absenteeism, we have to check with the college concerned. Under the new system, we will have a dashboard based on a centralised database to monitor attendance,” she explained.

The new system will be rolled out to primarily monitor attendance of permanent staff, Manjula pointed out. “It will also be extended to cover outsourced staff, whose attendance we are concerned about.”

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed the dashboard for the Aadhaar-based attendance system. Fingerprint devices linked to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) database will be deployed for the pilot test. “We are doing this to also ensure that doctors and staff are present on night duty, which is important,” Manjula said.

Karnataka has 16 government medical colleges to which 25 hospitals are attached where more than 10,000 staffers work. The e-Governance department has approved pilot testing of the Aadhaar-based attendance system. “The medical education department wanted to have a better system in place to find out if doctors are in the right place,” additional chief secretary (e-Governance) Rajeev Chawla said.

14-member committee

The government has constituted a 14-member committee to vet the use of Aadhaar by various government departments.

The panel was constituted amid concerns over misuse of the 12-digit unique number.

“Aadhaar should not be used for exclusion. All the Aadhaar notifications that the departments want to issue will be checked to make sure they aren’t exclusive in nature,” Chawla said. The committee includes Isro’s Information Systems Programme Office director Rajiv Chetwani, who was one of the architects of the Mars Orbiter Mission.

The government plans to use Aadhaar to identify farmers under the flagship crop loan waiver scheme. This will also be vetted by the committee.

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