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The government should constitute a high power committee to study the working of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) with respect to the pharmacy education in the country, so that the pharma education is periodically upgraded with the changing time and practices, says an expert.

Dr K G Revikumar, principal of government college of pharmacy, Calicut Medical College said it is high time that the government of India constitute a committee to study the state of pharmacy education in the country and suggest measures to make it more practice oriented.

He said that the pharmacy education system in India including the syllabus and regulations for courses like B.Pharm, M.Pharm and Pharm D should be under the control of a national level perpetual education committee. The statutory bodies like AICTE and PCI should not indulge in framing syllabus as they are neither competent nor capable of doing it. They should jointly frame the general guidelines/norms and monitor the universities in their academic and examination systems.

The detailed syllabus and regulations for B.Pharm, M.Pharm and Pharm D should be framed by the respective universities and modified regularly. The B.Pharm syllabus should be updated once in 4 or 5 years and the M.Pharm syllabus once in two years. The Pharm D syllabus should be changed once in every two or three years. Let the universities compete each other in developing quality programmes, said Dr Kumar.

The major challenges faced by the pharma education includes the variations in the quality of education at the B.Pharm and M.Pharm levels, out dated syllabus, untrained teachers and lack of facilities for professional skill development and practice based training. The current situation of dual control of Indian pharmacy education by AICTE and PCI is a big issue. In all progressive countries the education system is moving with the time. The universities update and introduce newer concepts every year in the syllabus.

The present education is not helping to improve the practice and innovative skills of the professionals. It only helps to create mediocre level professionals. Fortunately most of the Indian students are brilliant and when they go to other countries they, excel in their practice skills. The education system should go in symphony with the practice system. The sorry state of Indian Pharmacy education is that the professionals of tomorrow are taught by the teachers of today using the syllabus of yesterdays. The education should move with the times and practice. It should help to bring innovations in the practice, said Dr Kumar.
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