Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Centre was effectively pursuing a decisive war against the drugs menace. He made those remarks while addressing the National Conference on ‘Drug Trafficking and National Security’ in Chandigarh.
Drug menace in India –
- India is caught in the vicious circle of drug abuse, and the numbers of drug addicts are increasing day by day.
- According to the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India in 2019, about 2.1% of the country’s population (2.26 crore individuals) uses opioids.
- This survey also showed that about 2.8% of Indians aged 10-75 years (3.1 crore individuals) were using cannabis as bhang, ganja and charas.
Reasons for drug abuse in India –
- To escape from hard realities of life – The disintegration of the joint family system, decline of religious and moral values etc. lead to a rise in the number of drug addicts
- Loosening of the traditional methods of social control — Makes an individual vulnerable to the stresses and strains of modern life.
- Peers pressure — Many youths start using drug under the pressure from their friends, seniors at educational institutions, or by members of their informal groupings.
- Easy Availability —
- India is situated in the sense that on its west is the ‘Golden Crescent’ and on east is the ‘Golden Triangle’.
- Golden Crescent – Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan
- Golden Triangle – Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar
- The usage of drugs in India is increasing, particularly in the border areas due to their porous nature.
- Economic prosperity — The agricultural reforms and other industrial activity have led to increase in income in regions like Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra etc. which has led to increase in its use.
New initiatives to fight against drugs –
- The minister launched the NCORD portal on the occasion —
- During the 3rd apex level NCORD meeting, held in December 2021, Union Home Minister directed the creation of an integrated NCORD portal at the central level.
- The Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) mechanism was set up by the MHA in the year 2016 for effective drug law enforcement.
- The portal acts as an effective mechanism for information exchange between various institutions/agencies.
- NCORD portal helps not only in coordination but also in knowledge management.
Future initiatives –
- The Ministry of Home Affairs is working on a three-tier formula —
- strengthening the institutional structure,
- empowerment and coordination of all narco agencies,
- comprehensive awareness campaigns and de-addiction.
- The NCB is working to launch a helpline soon.
- The minister also said that for speedy trial of drug cases the constitution of fast-track courts and exclusive courts is being discussed with the Supreme Court.