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The decision of the Kerala State Pharmacy Council (KSPC) not to enroll the names of the 14 fresh B. Pharm graduates, who did their course at the Government Tirumala Devaswom Medical College (TDMC) at Alappuzha, due to denial of approval for the course by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has drawn mixed response from the pharmacy community.

Some feel that KSPC’s action is good to implement educational standards set on rules, while others say the Council’s decision should not affect the higher education of the students. But, everybody accuses the authorities of the college saying lapse on their side in conducting inspection before the irregularities were set right.

The students’ attempt to get their certificates registered through a court order was challenged by KSPC through an appeal petition to the division bench of the high court and got the single bench order in favor of the students stayed. The reason KSPC cited was that the college (TDMC) did not have the PCI approval for their B. Pharm course.

Dr. Krishna Dev, an eminent academician from Andhra Pradesh, feels that the appeal by KSPC and the consequent order (stay order) need to be recognized to uphold the standards of education. He is of the opinion that registration with pharmacy council is not mandatory to pursue higher studies. However, the council cannot stand in the way of students to pursue higher education as long as they meet the requirements of admission in a university/institution. He said PCI and KSPC should stand for the pharmacy community and for the educational standards set by the rules.

Raj Vaidya, a community pharmacist from Goa, said the students are innocent in this matter as when they joined the course, the college was recognized and the course was approved. The PCI, the state pharmacy council and Kerala government should interfere in the matter for a solution.

Dr NS Jaganathan, former professor of pharmacy at Annamalai university in Tamil Nadu, said the lapse was on the side of the college authorities. The students who filed the WP with the court should have filed against the college authorities instead of filing against the council. He said still time is there for the college authorities to apply for a second inspection by PCI. It is the responsibility of the principal to conduct the inspection on time.

KVSN Gupta, assistant director, drugs control department, Andhra Pradesh has responded that KSPC should follow as per the provisions of the Pharmacy Act, and follow the rules of their state. He said it is the fault of the college administration for not providing the facilities as per the rules to get recognition.

Dr Roop Narayan Gupta, professor, department of pharmacy at Birla Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Ranchi in Jharkhand, wants Kerala pharmacy council not to stand in the way of students to pursue their higher education. He is of the opinion that KSPC should immediate enroll the 14 students allowing them for their PG programme.

Accusing the action of Kerala Pharmacy Council, P S Raghuveer Gupta, former assistant professor in pharmacology from UP said the action of KSPC is unfair. It is the duty of the state and the Centre to provide facilities to the students till they successfully complete the course. No student should suffer due to flaw of the system of the state.

Dr K G Revikumar, former head of department of pharmacy, government pharmacy college, Thiruvananthapuram said the college authorities must take the responsibility of the present issue. He said the problem is affecting poor students of the society who got admission at the Alappuzha medical college. But, the state pharmacy council has to follow the rules. Students should not be victimized for the irresponsibility of the college authorities.

Meanwhile, Dr B Suresh, president, PCI said he will respond to the issue after ascertaining the facts of the case from the council office.
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