No More Mahasu Days, Biometric Attendance In Himachal Secretariat

Shimla: The old order changed and a new one was in place, when on Monday everybody reporting for work at the state secretariat from the humble peon to the chauffer driven Principal Secretary Sahib passed through a biometric machine recorded attendance at the gate to report on time.

“For once there was a rush to report for work on time at the civil secretariat,” said Rohit Sharma, who was out shopping for morning groceries in the nearby Chota Shimla bazaar.

Early bird, Abhay Shukla, additional chief secretary by logging in at 9.52 a.m. was one of the first to report for work.

With government diktats to keep the all powerful secretariat employees at work during all working days having proved a tough condition to enforce, the government has gone in for a technological makeover to guard against absenteeism and furlough.

For employees to get used to the new attendance system, and making up for the rush at the entrances where these biometric identification machines have been installed, the reporting time has been relaxed upto 10.30 a.m. but late comers would have to work an extra hour in the evening to make up for lost time by checking out late and recording departure time at the gate machines, said an secretariat administrator.

The new order has been enforced after overcoming a lot of resistance from a section of the employees. Some ladies employees who were queued for registering at the machined were overheard complaining about the time being wasted to just record your attendance.

A furlough popularly known as Mahasu Day is what the administration hopes to curtail by employing this technology

The term ‘Mahasu Day’ is derived from a time when in 1950s Shimla was capital of the Punjab government and was known for its efficient functioning, which was in stark comparison to functioning of Himachal Territorial Council administration, located in Mahasu district, nearby at Kasumpati.

Skipping office in the later half of Saturday and arriving for work in the second half of Monday is what Mahasu Day was referred to.

The laid back attitude of the then Mahasu administration became generic implying a working day when ministers and senior bureaucrats are out, one need not bother to avail leave and enjoy a holiday at public exchequer expense.

In all 12 biometric machines have been installed in the two secretariat building that would record the incoming and outgoing time of 32 IAS, 14 HAS officers; 58 class I officers and over 1,400 other employees.

The biometric machines identify an employee by analyzing the finger print impression cast on the screen to record ones presence.

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