Dr Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Washington, DC, USA met with Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, Minister for IT & BT, Science & Technology, Higher Education, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship & Livelihood, Government of Karnataka to deliberate on new avenues in anti-narcotics and manufacturing of medication to treat drug dependence for US and other markets in the backdrop of firms globally pursuing the China-Plus-One strategy.
Collaborative engagements in the areas of enforcement, regulatory frameworks, transparency through effective IT Systems, building of robust frameworks for the growth of the pharmaceutical industry were discussed. As per the New Education Policy (NEP), the government unveiled its ambitious ‘Twinning Programme’ in 2021. A first-of-its-kind in India, it aims to internationalize higher education. Cooperation in student exchange programs, educational twinning programs, curriculum building, upskilling and job growth in leading edge programs in Healthcare, Bio-tech, Tele-health, IT and Data Security were also discussed in detail.
A 2021 World Drug Report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) indicated that over 36 million people have suffered from substance use disorders (SUD). According to GlobalData’s Clinical Trial Database, nearly 80% of clinical trials are being sponsored by academic institutions, the pharmaceutical industry is lagging behind in the clinical arena of addiction treatments.
Post the discussion, Dr CN Ashwath Narayan said, “India and the USA are already working on bolstering the India-US counter-narcotics agreement as India assumes G20 presidency from December this year. The Government of Karnataka is exploring partnerships with the USA to continue to strengthen this dialogue. Further, we will share best practices for monitoring the use of unregulated chemicals in drug manufacturing. We look forward to interacting with the White House and delegates from the US soon.”
With its robust ecosystem of IT, pharma R&D centres, manufacturing, academic institutions, and leading technology companies, Karnataka is the only state in India that maintains a country-to-state relationship akin to country-to-country bilateral relations.