Pharmacy council against opening of new colleges

# Foremost challenge in pharmacy education is number of institutions in the country
# PCI has made it to clear to colleges to comply with the standards and get approvals

Quality assurance system in every pharmacy college planned

As the mushrooming of pharmacy colleges has created an “imbalance,” the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has urged the Union government not to permit the opening of new colleges in the country, except in the northeast, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

PCI chairman B. Suresh said this while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2011 and the 71 {+s} {+t} International Congress of FIP (International Pharmaceutical Federation) here on Monday.

The foremost challenge in pharmacy education was the number of institutions in the country. The PCI had written to the Union Health Ministry recommending a ban on the opening of new colleges for the “time being.” Asked till when the PCI wanted the ban, he said: “for about five years.”

Preliminary clearances

At present, more than 700 pharmacy degree colleges were functioning in the country; the highest number of 300 being in Andhra Pradesh. As many as 300 colleges in the country were operating on the basis of preliminary clearances given by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and a conduct of courses permission by the PCI.

Mr. Suresh said the PCI had made it to clear to these colleges to comply with the standards and get approvals. Around 40,000 pharmacy graduates passed out each year, of whom 50 per cent would get absorbed. One of the problems in pharmacy education was regulation by both the AICTE and the PCI. The PCI had urged the government to remove this dual regulation. Mr. Suresh expressed the hope that the issue would sorted out, once the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Education was established.

‘Indirect accreditation'

The PCI was planning to introduce quality assurance systems in every pharmacy college by the next academic year. Describing quality assurance as an “indirect accreditation,” he said initially it would be recommended, but made obligatory after five years. This was basically aimed at ensuring uniform standards, irrespective of whether the colleges were located in urban or rural areas.
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