No govt job in Punjab unless you clear drug test

Govt seeks to check addicts entry into state machinery

All government job aspirants in Punjab have to undergo a mandatory drug test to prove that they do not use narcotics, the state government announced on Thursday.

At a high-level meeting on Thursday, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal approved the proposal mandating that all contenders for the government services must first receive a medical clearance certificate to ensure that drug addicts do not enter the state machinery.

“The need of the hour is to combat the menace of drugs in a more effective manner,” the chief minister said. Punjab, which has overwhelming instances of drug peddling and drug use by the youth, is perhaps the first state to take such a measure.

Instructions have been issued to amend existing rules and incorporate mandatory drug tests in medical examinations of candidates.

Badal believes that the move will improve human resources and build a healthier workforce in government departments, besides encourage the youth to shun the menace of drugs.

De-addiction centres in Punjab have been full ever since the state police launched an offensive to dismantle the supply lines facilitating drug addicts. With the zero-tolerance approach of the police, this year, over 9,900 cases have been registered under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and a whopping 11,400 people have been arrested on drug-related charges.

With addicts being unable to get their supply of drugs, as many as 2.08 lakh people got treated at rehabilitation centres by the end of July.

Drug addicts undergoing treatment at these centres are to be issued identity proofs for better treatment and checks.

Besides the existing ones, the state government has announced that 50 bedded de-addiction centres will be operational at Patiala, Jalandhar and Bathinda by the end of the year.

The chief minister also asked officers in the state government to explore the possibility of maintaining a centralised database of all rehabilitation centres to ensure that drug addicts do not misuse medicinal drugs.

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