In this paper, we present an automated system for robust biometric recognition based upon sparse representation and dictionary learning. In sparse representation, extracted features from the training data are used to develop a dictionary. Training data of real world applications are likely to be exposed to geometric transformations, which is a big challenge for designing of discriminative dictionaries. Classification is achieved by representing the extracted features of the test data as a linear combination of entries in the dictionary. We propose joint weighted dictionary learning and classifier training (JWDL-CT) approach which simultaneously learns from a set of training samples along with weight vectors that correspond to the atoms in the learnt dictionary. The components of the weight vector associated with an atom represent the relationship between the atom and each of the classes. The weight vectors and atoms are jointly obtained during the dictionary learning. In the proposed method, a constraint is imposed on the correlation between the atoms to decrease the similarity between these atoms. The proposed dictionary learning objective function enhances the class-discrimination capabilities of individual atoms that renders the designed dictionaries especially suitable for classification of query images with very sparse representation. Experiments conducted on the West Virginia University (WVU) and the University of Notre Dame (UND) datasets for ear recognition show that the proposed method outperforms other state-of-the-art classifiers.