Mumbai :All the departments of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the state will finally get an increased manpower for their food and drug laboratories. A review was conducted in the April by the state FDA commissioner and ministers to address various issues of FDA. Following the review, the posts of drug and food inspectors will be doubled from the existing 181 drug inspectors and 265 food inspectors.
Highly placed sources from the FDA stated that since 1999, no review was conducted to rectify the issues and development of the department. “FDA is not a revenue earning department and therefore the centre is reluctant to invest in this department. After continuous attempts of taking this matter to the ministers, a review was conducted on all the matters related to FDA departments and focus will be put on recruiting more people in the department,” said a senior official from the state FDA.
State FDA has been facing acute manpower shortage since 2006 wherein the Bandra FDA laboratory is facing shortage of security officers and food inspectors in the food and drug laboratories. HarshadeepKamble, state commissioner of FDA said, “We had a review with all the ministers and we will be focusing on increasing the strength of the drug and food department in all the FDA departments. We have been facing huge shortage of food and drug inspectors and therefore, we will recruit new inspectors and will also fill up vacant posts in the food laboratory.”
There will be different posts in the food laboratory including chemical analyst, technical officer and other posts from class 1 to 4. “The criteria for the recruitment of the inspectors will be BCOM, MCOM and advertisements will also be put up in newspapers for the vacant posts. Officers will also be recruited through Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examinations, following which; they will be interviewed and put on board. It will take nearly a year to recruit a new batch of inspectors and officers in all the FDA departments,” added Kamble.
Owing to the shortage of officers, the work load on the existing workers has been increased wherein they have to conduct 100 samples testing of products in a day. “To decrease the load on the current workers, we are already in the process of recruiting people wherein we will be employing 60 officers in the next six months,” added a senior official.