The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has pointed out that the standards in Pharmacy education in Andhra Pradesh have touched rock bottom. Owing to this, the council has urged the state government to restrict B. Pharma seats in each pharmacy college to 60.
Over the past few years, several colleges were sanctioned with intake ranging from 100 to 300 seats by the All India Council for Technical Education, (AICTE) despite a request from PCI to cap the seats at 60.
The PCI president, Prof. B Suresh and PCI education division chairman Prof. T V Narayana met the officials of the higher education department and urged them not to grant approvals for more than 60 seats. Earlier, in 2010, owing to higher demand for admission to B. Pharm and M. Pharm, the AICTE had decided to increase the seats from 60 to 120 and 8 to 18 respectively. During the year, Andhra Pradesh had 98 Pharma colleges with an overall intake of 3970 students in these colleges.
If quality of education is maintained, pharmaceutical sector provides greater career opportunities for the students. There are more than 20,000 units manufacturing drugs and pharmaceuticals in India, employing almost 1.5 million people. There are various job opportunities in areas like in hospitals, stores, laboratories, etc.
Seeing the growing number of students opting for pharmacy as a career, the demand for admission in to the pharmacy colleges have drastically increased during the past few years. Many colleges offer courses like 2 years Diploma in Pharmacy, 4 years Bachelor of Pharmacy, 2 years Master of Pharmacy etc. The eligibility criteria is10+2 or equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry, Maths or Biology. They also offer specialization in subjects like Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Marketing & Management etc.
Of late, it has been observed in many colleges that the college administrations are flaunting the basic norms needed to upkeep the quality in pharmacy education. Many colleges are not employing qualified teaching faculty. The laboratories and other basic infrastructure facilities are lacking in these colleges. For every additional intake, it is mandatory to have adequate basic facilities like labs, faculty, and infrastructure to maintain the desired quality in education. “Today we see students who have secured higher qualifications in pharmacy; but most of them fail at the interview. They do not even have the basics knowledge of chemistry. I wonder how they are clearing their final exams,” a source said.