The University Grants Commission (UGC) wrote to all vice-chancellors and heads of institutions on Tuesday, requesting that their students sign a commitment against drugs and substance misuse.
The decision is consistent with the goals of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan,’ which focuses on eradicating drug possession and substance misuse on campuses and in universities.
“It is evident that students and youth are particularly vulnerable to the menace of substance use, thus making them primary stakeholders for this Abhiyaan. HEIs can take action at the institutional level to sensitise the campus and other possible surrounding locations through their faculty, NSS volunteers, student clubs, etc., through regular interventions and activities on substance use prevention,” UGC secretary Manish Joshi wrote in the letter.
UGC advised universities and colleges to establish common clubs focused on activities related to ragging prevention, promoting a substance-free environment, and adhering to safety measures. The directive also included a web link for “list of suggested activities to spread awareness and information, education and communication (IEC) material along with best practices”.
Additionally, a proposal to solicit a commitment from students towards responsible behaviour during their academic tenure was also advised, along with a guiding proforma attached with the letter to be duly signed by all students.
Acknowledging the harmful nature of substance use, the students’ pledge read, “I am aware that the possession, use, sale, and distribution of alcohol, tobacco, or any psychoactive substances are wrong and harmful. I shall refrain from using, possessing, distributing, or being in the chain of sale of these substances. I shall report observed irregularities to institution authorities. I shall support and engage in such educational initiatives. I shall cooperate with authorities and prevent substance presence in or around my institution.”
The ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ initiatives to prevent drug usage and create a drug-free atmosphere in India. The effort focuses on several elements of substance misuse, such as evaluation, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and public awareness. It entails coordinated efforts to address the issues posed by drug addiction, with a particular emphasis on reaching out to many segments of society, such as educational institutions, communities, and people, in order to prevent and treat substance abuse.
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