After biometrics failed, MCI to use CCTVs to track faculty attendance

The Medical Council of India (MCI) will begin installing CCTV cameras in classrooms, laboratories and out-patient departments (OPDs) of all medical colleges and associated hospitals soon as part of measures to weed out “ghost” and absent faculty.

The initiative is a part of MCI’s Digital Mission Mode Project (DMMP). All regulatory mechanisms will be online to ensure professors turn up to teach and train students.

The MCI’s attempts to make biometric attendance compulsory for teaching staff in medical colleges last year had failed. “People did not regularly mark attendance and in some cases, the machines were found broken and not repaired. Installing CCTVs should help,” said Dr Reena Nayyar, Secretary MCI.

The installation of cameras will be done in phases, and is expected to be completed in all 497 colleges by the year-end. The footage will be tracked real-time from a monitoring cell in Delhi. “We don’t have people for checking live footage all the time, but it can be done randomly. We will also have the footage stored in our system that can be examined whenever required later,” said Nayyar. “Defaulting colleges will not be given permission to function for that particular year…,” she said. The regulator recently completed a month-long trial run in two medical colleges. After a successful trial showed glitch-free live streaming, it is ready to install cameras in the other colleges. “… There is no harm in making an attempt but it doesn’t seem practical to observe lectures or OPDs live…,” said Dr KK Talwar, former chairperson, MCI.