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1,200 pharma students stare at bleak future

VISAKHAPATNAM: The fate of about 1,200 B Pharmacy students in nearly 20 colleges in the state hangs in the balance.

Though these colleges were opened four years ago, they have not got approval from the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). Now the first batch of students, about 1,200, are expected to pass out and join the approximately 17,000 students who are expected to pass out of about 300 other colleges in the state. However, they will not be able to open their own pharmacy shops or apply for any position in government hospitals.Pharmacy Council of India chairman Dr B Suresh told TOI that the other 300 were either recognised under section 12 or may be approved for conducting the course. He said sufficient notifications were issued by PCI urging colleges to obtain recognition from the statutory body. The colleges that have not sought approval from PCI will be hauled up when students come for registering with the pharmacy council, he said.

The chairman of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) education division, Dr T V Narayana said similar situations have cropped up in some state or the other for the past 15 years.

“The difference between Andhra Pradesh and other states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra is that the government asks the colleges to take the approval of PCI before giving them permission to start their courses,” said Narayana.

Colleges need to seek the approval of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), state government and university concerned, following which they need to seek approval from PCI.

“So far, more than 10,000 students in the country are on the road like this as colleges failed to seek approval from PCI,” he said, adding that students need to check if the college has received approval from PCI before taking admission.

“Upon completing the B Pharmacy course, you have to register with the state pharmacy council for starting your own medical shop or to apply for vacancies in government hospitals,” said the principal of the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Andhra University, Dr S Ganapathy. However, graduates can only register with the state pharmacy council only if their college is approved by PCI, he said. “If the colleges have not obtained the approval of PCI, their students can’t register with the state pharmacy council,” he said.

PCI will inspect each college periodically and conduct checks on infrastructure, faculty-student ratio and other facilities such as labs and library among others.


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