During a debate in the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister said that the government has zero-tolerance policy towards drugs. As a result of this policy, drug seizures and cases against traffickers went up in recent years.

 

Details

While participating in a debate in Lok Sabha, the Union home minister Amit Shah stressed that the government is committed to wipe out narcotics trafficking.

 

Reasons for widespread drug abuse in India

  • To escape from hard realities of life — The disintegration of the old joint family system, decline of religious and moral values etc. lead to a rise in the number of drug addicts who take drugs to escape hard realities of life.
  • Loosening of the traditional methods of social control — leaves 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. Increase in disposable money and easy availability of drugs has led to increase in its use.

 

Steps taken

  • Article 47 of the Indian Constitution directs the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption of intoxicating drugs injurious to health.
  • India is a signatory to —
    • the single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol,
    • the Conventions on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and
    • the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.
  • Legislative steps — Enacted Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 and The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988.
  • Institutions involved —
    • The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was created in 1986 as a nodal agency to fight against this menace.
    • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) are involved with alcohol and drug demand reduction policies and drug de-addiction programme.
    • In order to prevent misuse of dual-use drugs, a permanent inter-ministerial committee has been formed with the ministry of health and family welfare and the ministry of chemicals.
  • Technological intervention —
    • The NCORD portal has been launched as an effective mechanism for information exchange between various institutions/agencies.
      • The Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) mechanism was set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the year 2016 for effective drug law enforcement.
    • Besides information exchange, the portal will also help in knowledge management.
    • The NCB is working to launch a helpline soon.

 

Key highlights

  • All dealers will be in jail in next two years —
    • The government has mapped possible routes and drug trafficking networks in 472 districts across the country.
    • No matter how big the culprit is, in the next two years they will be behind bars.
  • Increased drug seizure —
    • As per the data shared by the minister, 6-lakh kilo of drugs were seized between 2014 and 2022 as compared to 22.45-lakh kilo between 2006 and 2013.
    • The value of the drugs seized went up from Rs 33,000 crore to Rs 97,000 crore in the same period.
  • Three-pronged strategy —
    • The Home ministry has adopted a three-pronged strategy
      • strengthening of institutions;
      • empowerment and coordination among agencies; and
      • extensive awareness and rehabilitation campaigns.
  • Empowering paramilitary forces on the borders —
    • The Centre has empowered the Border Security Force, Seema Suraksha Bal and Assam Rifles to register cases under the NDPS Act.
      • Many states had criticised this step as they saw this empowerment as an encroachment on their jurisdiction.