From installing CCTV cameras to tightening the entry of visitors, India’s drug regulatory agency has reminded its staff that there is no scope for slackening in policy against corruption, News18.com has learnt.
Last Monday, the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested a top official of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) on charges of accepting bribes for fast-tracking a drug approval. The other officials involved included a senior executive of the pharma company Biocon Biologics, two others indirectly involved with Biocon, and a few other officials of India’s apex drug regulatory agency.
Now entangled in the alleged bribery controversy, the CDSCO has issued instructions to all officials across its branches to reinforce measures and strengthen policy against corruption.
The internal order issued on June 27, accessed by News18.com, reiterates that the instructions to combat corruption have been issued earlier and now, once again, the officers are reminded to execute those orders.
“Instructions have been issued in the past to bring in transparency in the functioning of CDSCO (headquarter) and its field offices including the laboratories and to take various measures to root out corruption,” said the circular marked to all officers and staff in the New Delhi-based CDSCO headquarters apart from zones, sub-zones, port-offices, and laboratories across India.
“As a step towards that, instructions were also issued to install CCTV cameras at strategic locations in various office complexes,” it said.
The circular, signed by Amit Kumar, deputy director of the administration department, further warns the staffers that “in view of the existing policy of zero tolerance against corruption, there is no scope for any let-up in the same”.
The heads of all CDSCO offices, the circular states, are accordingly requested to “reinforce or fortify such steps by increasing the number and the reach of CCTV cameras etc”.
The circular aims to tighten the entry of visitors and increase scrutiny, and vigilance over frequent visitors.
“Further, as CDSCO as a whole is quite a sensitive office, the entry of visitors also needs to be regulated properly,” it said while adding that it is necessary that “record of all visitors coming to various offices is duly regulated through visitor register etc. No one should be allowed to enter offices and roam around in the complex unnecessarily.”
The circular concludes that “all concerned may ensure compliance with these instructions with immediate effect”.