Chandigarh August 11 – In one of the largest ever official samples available on the intensity of the drug menace in Punjab, the Punjab Police recruitment drive currently underway has exposed the allegations of alarming prevalence of drugs among Punjabi youth as “wild, reckless and utterly irresponsible”.
Giving details, Chairman of the Central Recruitment Board, ADG Police Mr Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota today said the recruitment drive had attracted massive response from Punjabi youth and the traditional strength, vigour and enthusiasm of Punjabi youth for physically challenging jobs and assignments is fully intact. He revealed that a total of 6,23,507 candidates have been found eligible for 7,416 posts advertised for recruitment in the Punjab Police.
He further said that 1 lakh 67 thousand and 781 youth have already taken the Substance Abuse Test (SAT) till August 10 and the process is going on. “The response is most encouraging and indicative of Punjabis general health and stamina. A Total of 1,64,424 (which is 98% of the candidates), have cleared the SAT”, he added.
Further, Mr Sahota said percentage of applicants who tested positive for drugs is a mere 1.30% (2,185 candidates), which fully exposes the falsehood of allegations of 70 to 80% Punjabi youth being drug addicts with another 0.65% (1,090) testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Mr Sahota also maintained that although details of applicants having taken some form of drugs was not meant only for the purpose of finding out the intensity of the drug problem, yet the fact that 1.30% of the youth who applied for recruitment have been found to be taking drugs on a total base as large as 1,67,781 youth shows that the drug menace is not even an iota of what it has been made out to be in some quarters.
He further informed that total number of youth disqualified from the test on the basis of SAT, or drug addiction test was 3275 – or 1.95%. But 1,090 of these applicants had taken resort to Amphetamine, a performance enhancing medical drug, which traditionally does not fall in the category of the drugs which are believed to be serious or even life threatening in nature. “Candidates found to have been under the influence of Amphetamine, a performance enhancing drug, are permitted by the authorities to reappear in the recruitment test after a gap of 7 days,” said Mr Sahota.
It may be recalled that Punjab Government has launched a war on drugs. However, the confusion being created about the actual number of Punjabi’s affected by the drug problem has brought a bad name not only to the youth of the State but to the Punjab as a whole. The recruitment drive and the disclosures about drug addiction being limited to just 1.30% among nearly 2 lac applicants already tested have served to clean the image of the State in this regard.