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Drug trafficking in India

Drug trafficking in India

Context:- Drug trafficking in India is a serious issue that poses challenges to the social, economic, and political fabric of the country. The illegal trade of drugs has been a persistent problem, and it continues to evolve and become more sophisticated with new technologies and methods.

Why in news?

The narcotics trade is not only a social problem that harms youth and families but a national security problem as the money it generates is diverted for disruptive activities. 

What are Narcotic drugs?

  • Narcotic drugs refer to any substance that binds with opioid receptors in the central nervous system.
  • They are used to treat moderate to severe pain and are capable of producing sleep.
  • Opioid is an umbrella term which refers to all natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic chemicals.
  • For example: Heroin, morphine, oxycodone, and codeine.
  • Opiates are a type of opioid that derives naturally from the opium, or poppy plant.
  • Opium is derived from the opium poppy plant which hold a milky substance called latex.
  • The latex that contains a number of chemicals, including morphine and codeine is extracted and dried to create opium.
  • The terms opiate, opioid, and narcotics are used interchangeably.

Why India is safe to drug dealers and traffickers?

  • Neighbourhood – India is sandwiched between the Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle
  • Long Coastline – India have a coastline of around 7500 km, it aids in safe trade and transfer of drugs.
  • Porous borders – It provides a safe space for illegal drug trade.
  • Cocaine users – India has become a hot destination for cocaine, the supply of which is controlled by South American drug cartels.

What are the threats to India?

  • Social Problem – It harms youth and families and reduces the social capital of India.
  • Link – The nexus between drug traffickers organized criminal networks and terrorists causes instability in the country.
  • Promotes Insurgency and Terror The money generated through this drug trade are used to fund various insurgent and terrorist movements.
  • Use of technology – Due to its anonymity and low risks, dark nets are widely used for illicit drug trafficking.

Steps taken by India to Counter Drug Trafficking:

  • Conventions – India is a signatory to all 3 UN drug control conventions, namely,
  1. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 (amended by the 1972 Protocol).
  2. The Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971.
  3. The UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988
  • Legislations – The legislative policy on narcotic drugs are as follows:
  1. Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
  2. The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act)
  3. The Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988
  4. NDPS (Regulation of Controlled Substances) Order, 1993
  • Institutions – Agencies responsible for various functions are as follows:
    • The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance has the nodal co-ordination role under NDPS Act, 1985 and Illicit traffic Act, 1988.
    • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal agency responsible for implementing the drug demand reduction programme in the country.
    • Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) under the Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal agency dealing with drug trafficking in India.

Steps can be taken to prevent drug trafficking?

  • Twin goals – Adopt a comprehensive approach to reduce both the supply as well as demand for narcotics and drugs.
  • Coordination – There are various agencies in India to look after drug trafficking. Coordinating all these agencies is crucial in eliminating drug trafficking.
  • Intelligence – There is an urgent need to develop a system for sharing of information by state police forces and the central agencies. It would help the enforcement agencies connect the distributors to source of supply.
  • Implementation – Effective implementation of the existing laws plays a very important role.
  • Regulation – Curtailing the easy flow of money through regulating the crypto markets, darknet.
  • Surveillance – Upgrading the maritime surveillance.

Read also: Nebular Hypothesis

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