After Students, Odisha Assembly Panel For Anti-Drug Declaration By College, University Lecturers

Bhubaneswar: Odisha now seems to be moving towards making educational institutions across the state drug-free. After students, lecturers in colleges and universities may now be required to submit anti-drug declaration with an Assembly panel making recommendation in this regard.

Assembly Standing Committee on higher education has recommended to the state government to ensure that the anti-drug declaration rule is made applicable to lecturers also, Committee chairman Bhupinder Singh told reporters on Tuesday.

Notably, the state government recently made it mandatory for students to sign anti-drug declaration forms during admission to higher educational institutions (HEIs) – public universities, government and non-government aided colleges (both technical and general).

Similarly, the Committee has now recommended implementation of such provision for the lecturers of Plus II, Plus III and Universities, Singh said, adding that the objective is to keep educational campuses free from any drugs. The rule should be applicable to students as well as lecturers.

It may be noted here that drug addiction is a major challenge in many Higher Educational Institutions with many cases of youngsters getting addicted to substance abuse.

Odisha made anti-drug declaration for students mandatory following a direction from University Grants Commission (UGC) to HEIs to take action in order to keep a check on drug addiction, which has become a major challenge with numerous cases of youngsters getting addicted to substance abuse. “An anti-drug declaration at the time of admission can be taken to invoke a commitment from the students to have responsible behaviour during studies,” it said, adding that it is to be implemented under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s Nasha Mukta Bharat Abhiyaan (NMBA).

In a letter to School & Mass Education Department, Higher Education Department, Skill Development & Technical Education Department, and Health Department, Principal Secretary Bishnupada Sethi noted that students and youth are particularly vulnerable to the menace of substance use. “More than 3.3 crore youth have participated in the activities organised under NMBA and have spread the message against substance use. A joint meeting was organised on 30.05.2023 and chaired by Secretaries of both Departments i.e., Higher Education and Social Justice and Empowerment, and the action points for higher educational institutions were decided,” he said.

An anti-drug declaration form devised by the Ministry is to be signed by the students at the time of admission, he added.

The declaration prohibits the students from carrying, selling and consuming not just drugs but also tobacco products and alcohol within their campuses. Besides, students are expected to report to the HEI authorities of any instances of drug/alcohol/tobacco consumption and sale by any student or staff on the premises or nearby.

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