A seven-member committee has been formed
The Dhaka University authorities are mulling carrying out dope tests on university freshers in a bid to keep the campus free of drugs.
The reports follow a Syndicate meeting held at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building of the university on Tuesday evening with Vice Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman in the chair.
According to Syndicate sources, dope testing was recommended by the Deans’ Committee.
Following the meeting, a seven-member committee was formed to formulate a policy in this regard with Dhaka Medical College Principal Dr Titu Miah as its convener.
Confirming the matter, Dr Mohammad Humayun Kabir, professor of the Department of Islamic History and Culture and a Syndicate member, said it had not been decided who would go through the dope tests (students or teachers or both), but the Deans’ Committee had recommended that they be carried out on freshers.
“However, I think Bangladeshi facilities do not have such capacity to carry out dope tests on 7,000 freshers and provide results within two months,” he remarked.
Dr Titu Miah, convenor of the newly formed committee, told reporters that under the system, dope tests would be conducted in the university during the recruitment of teachers and admission of new students every year.
“Additionally, students can be tested once a year in phases. However, the decision must be taken according to the capability of the university, which is absent now. This will require equipment and manpower. We are working on whether the dope tests will be done at the university or any other institution, and how the decision can be implemented,” he added.
What happened at the Syndicate meeting
No decision was taken at the syndicate meeting regarding the dope tests. The matter was rather only discussed as to whether or not it was feasible to introduce dope testing. A special report from an August 25 Deans’ Committee meeting was submitted to the Syndicate in which the committee made a few recommendations about dope tests of students, Humayun Kabir, who is also a Syndicate member, told Dhaka Tribune.
The recommendations of the Deans’ Committee include developing the DU’s own system for dope testing, and signing MoU with those who have the ability to carry out dope testing. The committee also proposed that the Syndicate body form a committee to check whether the DU could develop its own system and conduct the tests in collaboration with other organizations, he added.
Humayun said the Syndicate had approved the above-mentioned decisions of the Deans’ Committee and formed a seven-member committee which would formulate policies on the process, facilities and their implementation.
He also said that he had heard that the decision regarding dope tests came as the government took a decision of dope testing of freshers in all universities but he could not point to the specific government decision in this regard.
Dhaka Tribune could not verify the matter of any government decision regarding dope testing of students independently as the relevant department officials could not be reached.
However, according to media reports, Home Ministry sources told reporters that the fifth meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order on February 17, chaired by Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, had decided to make dope testing compulsory during the admission of students in all universities and educational institutions and that the process should be repeated at regular intervals.
The Public Security Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs on March 11 informed the secretary of the Secondary and Higher Education Division and the Technical and Madrasa Education Division, both divisions under the Ministry of Education, about the decision of the meeting in a letter, according to media reports.