Published: 01st June 2019
Telangana again fails to get additional seats for pharma courses
Contrary to the claims made by colleges, experts say lack of additional seats should not be interpreted as lack of demand for courses
While All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has approved over 57,000 new pharmacy seats in 842 colleges across the country citing increased demand, however, no such luck for Telangana this year too as no fresh seats were added or permission for new pharma colleges were granted by the technical body.
The seats have been augmented for diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Telangana currently has 8,800 seats in 120 colleges. Experts, however, caution that lack of additional seats should not be interpreted as lack of demand for the courses. After a lull of two years, the college managements claim that there is more demand for the courses this year.
K Ramadas, president, Telangana Pharmacy Colleges Managements’ Association, is of the opinion that the number of seats in the State corresponds to the current demand. “This year the demand is more as compared to last year. After medical and dental it is pharmacy that students look to. For the last few years admissions in pharmacy colleges were not good with most colleges managing to fill convenor seats but this time students are showing interest in Pharma D and B Pharmacy courses,” he said.
Though the AICTE approves the seats and new courses, the affiliating universities and the Pharmacy Council of India finally put a ceiling and this is binding on the colleges. For example, if AICTE approves 120 seats but JNTU -H approves 60 seats then the colleges will have to abide by JNTU norms.KS Murali Krishna, principal of MLR Institute of Pharmacy, agreed that the current number seats is sufficient for the requirement. “The demand for the course is increasing and students are able to get placements too. But now the focus instead should be on the quality of students and for this to happen the curriculum needs to be revised,” he said.
Others like K Abbulu, principal of CMR College of Pharmacy, feel given the rising demand for a field that is still developing, putting a cap on the seats or on approval for new courses needs to be looked into. From 145 colleges in 2014, the number of colleges in the State has come down to 120. Another two colleges have sought approval from JNTU-H for closure in 2019-20 academic year. It has also been pointed out that while Telangana had over 100 plus colleges for several years now, Maharastra has only three Pharma D and 45 B Pharma colleges, Karnataka also has just 60 B Pharmacy colleges.
“Across India, there are only 2,000 B Pharmacy and 400 Pharma D seats. The Telugu states together constitute 30 per cent of the total seats. While the demand in the State shot up years ago, it is catching up now in the north. From Uttar Pradesh for instance, 700 colleges had applied for AICTE for additional seats,” said Ramadas.