Published: 27th July 2019
No new pharmacy colleges to be set up in next 5 years: Government says there are no good teachers
According to a PCI circular, a concern was raised during a high-level meeting about the mushrooming of pharmacy colleges lacking quality education, most of their graduates remain unemployed
In view of the lack of quality education and shortage of qualified teaching staff, Pharmacy Council of India, a government body under the Union Health Ministry, has imposed restrictions on setting up new pharmacy colleges for the next five years.
As per the resolution adopted by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), the restrictions would not be applicable to the North-Eastern parts of the nation, as that is the only area where there is a shortage of pharmacy colleges.
PCI, a statutory body working under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was constituted under the Pharmacy Act, 1948 to regulate pharmacy education and the practice of the profession in the country by prescribing the minimum standards of education required to qualify for registration as pharmacists.
According to a PCI circular, a concern was raised during a high-level meeting about the mushrooming of pharmacy colleges lacking quality education, as a result of which most of their graduates remain unemployed.
"This available workforce is enough to meet the current pharmacist-to-population need of the country. The students who passed out are not getting paid job opportunities in public as well as in the private sector," stated a circular by Archana Mudgal, Registrar-cum-Secretary of PCI.
It has been discussed that the rapid increase in the number of pharmacy colleges over the last decade may result in a shortage of trained and qualified teaching faculty which may affect the quality of education imparted to students, read the circular.
"Taking into consideration the availability of students qualified pharmacist workforce, the House unanimously resolved to put a moratorium on the opening of new pharmacy colleges for running Diploma as well as Degree course in pharmacy for a period of five years beginning from the academic year 2020-2021. This moratorium shall not be applicable in the North-Eastern region of the country where there is a shortage of pharmacy colleges," the circular read.
The message has been communicated to the Union Health Ministry for information under intimation to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
A senior drug controller on the condition of anonymity told ANI, "Quality of education matters. There is a lot of scope in pharmacy but most of the students who passed out remain jobless. Government jobs are very minimal. The decision for not allowing new pharmacy colleges looks wise. We have to improve our existing infrastructure and manpower with well qualified trained teaching faculty."
There are approximately 1,985 D.Pharma and 1,439 B.Pharma institutes in the country. The annual intake of students in these institutes is nearly 2,19,279, the circular mentioned.