An RTI filed by former Academic Council (AC) member and Zoology teacher Monica Misra revealed that in addition to already spending around 60 lakh rupees on an attendance marking software, Delhi University’s Acharya Narendra Dev College (ANDC) would continue to pay for it till 2020, which would result in the total cost crossing Rs 1 crore.
Misra had previously filed another RTI in 2017, which revealed that the college had spent Rs 59,97,568 for purchasing the Entrance Resource Planning (ERP) software between 2014 and September last year through an MoU from Tata Consultancy Services- paving way for criticisms and questions by teachers.
“Was there any analysis or discussion done on why the software was needed in the first place? Why couldn’t they have used the software on a trial basis? How was TCS picked as the company? None of these things are being answered,” Misra said. Now that it is public knowledge that the attendance marking software costs over 1.03cr, serious issues are being raised over the decision to purchase it. Many teachers feel it is ridiculous to invest so heavily in it instead of increasing their salaries.
Reacting to the cost, college principal Savithri Singh said, “We’re talking about an entire college’s expenditure, not some small unit. I pay roughly Rs 1.8 crore in salaries to teachers every month. If we take the software on a trial basis, it works out to be very expensive. The whole process was very transparent; the software was demonstrated to 23 teachers.” She additionally claimed that the software had over 22 functions including in admissions, grading and examination, library and placements- a statement contested by teachers who said it was being used primarily to mark attendance.
To appease any critics, college bursar Amit Garg sent an email on January 1 to teachers stating ‘No services come free of cost. College is paying substantially lower, with staff members as free users, than the prevailing market rates charged by other service providers. The other service providers are charging approximately Rs 200 per month per student’.
Source : Indian Express