Delhi University assured the High Court of Delhi on 19th September 2012 that “The university is committed to implementation of the biometric system.” The reply of the Delhi University further stated “After the implementation of the sixth pay commission, the teachers have lucrative pay packages and are expected to fully justify the trust and confidence reposed by the society in them.”
This was going to come and it was quite obvious to any politically/intellectually alert academic. It is part of the package that is hell bent on factoryisation of education system. This was obvious also because this is not the first time that the views of legislature, executive and the judiciary have been quite similar – ranging from the throwing of slums from Delhi to the outskirts, ordering ‘no work, no pay’ for teachers as any other person striking work, rejecting opposition of teachers to semesterisation of academic calendar in Delhi University and now agreeing to the public interest litigation that teachers do not work and should, therefore, have a biometric attendance system.
If there is acceptance of such a move on part of the teachers of Delhi University, it will be sad enough message to the wider society and polity that resistance to irrational and authoritarian moves of a university system has to stop once it is routed through the court of law. I do not know if the ministers in their office have a biometric attendance system, Members of Parliament have it or the judiciary follows it for everybody. While at one level it needs to be recognized that the occupations work in different ways and the need for the worker to be at the work place will vary according to the character of the work that the worker does. Given that the situation will further aggravate it is important that the teacher-worker recognize certain things:
- They need to recognize that teacher is a worker like any other worker only the sites of production are different
- They need to recognize that the teachers are not a privileged set of people
- They need to recognize that teachers will have to fight continuously against rule of capital that imposes itself undemocratically on the teachers-workers in different ways, through different instruments that it has at its disposal.
- They need to recognize that only an all-encompassing working class unity can save the university and its democratic ethos.