Don’t Target Us Alone, Scrap Biometric Attendance System: Dalit Students

The Khattar government has done it again. Not best known for Constitutional governance, the state government’s move to make biometric attendance mandatory only for college students from the socially marginlised communities availing scholarships has invited a sharp reaction.
Students and teachers from the Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes have termed it as discriminatory. They have demanded that either all students should be asked to mark their attendance through the biometric machine or it should be rolled back altogether.

The Department for Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Class Department of the Haryana government issued an order on August 18 which stated that students who do not mark their attendance would be deprived of their scholarships.
District Welfare Officer of Kaithal Cheema Rani confirmed to The Tribune the colleges had been asked to install biometric machines to mark attendance for smooth disbursement of scholarships.
Official sources said the directions were meant for all government and government-aided colleges and the managements had been asked to install machines from their own funds.
A top government functionary said the system aimed to ensure transparency in disbursement of funds for the welfare of underprivileged sections. He said that scholarships would be debited in the banks accounts of the beneficiaries linked with Aadhaar numbers. It would help prevent individuals take undue financial benefits by enrolling fraudulently at more than one college, he added.
However, Dr Rajinder Badguzar, in-charge of SC Students Welfare Cell at RKSD College, raised objection. A delegation of Dalit social activists led by Badguzar last week submitted memorandum to the officials concerned at Panchkula. Ravinder Dhanda, a Dalit student, said it would humiliate the students from the SC and BC category.



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