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Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) is working to have a uniformity in syllabus format for B Pharm and M Pharm education in the country. This will include bringing in a dedicated syllabus and need-based curriculum across the 1100 pharmacy colleges in the country. Currently the dual control of pharmacy education by PCI and AICTE creates a lot of confusion among various universities and state governments with regard to student intake.

Now PCI is looking for a single authority for pharmacy education on similar lines that of the Councils of Medical, Dental and Nursing where college managements of these courses are regulated by a single body.

Because of the dual control by PCI and AICTE, the intake of student admission is skewed. While the former insists only on 60-100 candidates to be admitted, the latter permits 120-240 students to be admitted. Pharmacy colleges pan-India now see the need for regulating the intake of admission.

“Moreover the pharma industry has high expectations from candidates seeking jobs. We see students are unable to cope with the industry needs which are ahead in terms of regulations and technology”, Dr T V Narayana, Chairman-Education Division, Indian Pharmaceutical Association and Secretary, Indian Pharmaceutical Congress Association told Pharmabiz.

There is a need for a uniform programme of study across 1,100 pharmacy colleges on similar lines that of Pharm D which has received a good response from Indian healthcare and clinical research space, he added.

“We require an identical teaching material across institutions in the country. Instead it is a drastic variation not just from state to state but university to university. This has created a confusion in the pharmacy education practice in India,” pointed out Dr Narayana.

The 67th Indian Pharmaceutical Congress to be held in Mysore from December 19 to 21, 2015, at the JSS University will now see experts deliberate on this. However, for the AICTE to wean out of the pharmacy education mantle would be difficult. It would require a change in the legislation because pharmacy is on par with engineering courses under the Technical Education ambit, said Dr. Narayana.

“The 3-day IPC will now bring policy decision makers and stakeholders to one platform and at a round-table, we intend to discuss and work out a modality on the way forward to make pharmacy education more relevant to the current context. The event is attracting not just pharmacy college principals but university heads and central government officials. Therefore we could see a major change in the making. In fact this is for the first time that we are able to gather all concerned officials together. We are hell bent to see an outcome from this interaction and arrive at a solution”, he said.
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