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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Pharmacy seats across India up by nearly 30% in a yr

While the number of seats across India for degree and diploma pharmacy courses increased to 2,62,698 in 2019-20 from 2,04,951 in 2018-19, the number of institutes rose to 3,276 in 2019-20 from 2,306 in 2018-19.

india Updated: May 19, 2019 09:45 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
For 2019-20, 81 new institutes have been approved to start admissions. This takes the total number of pharmacy institutes to 556.
For 2019-20, 81 new institutes have been approved to start admissions. This takes the total number of pharmacy institutes to 556.(Sushil Kumar/ HT Photo)
         

The intake capacity of pharmacy institutes across the country, for degree and diploma courses, has gone up by nearly 30% this academic year as compared to 2018-19, suggests data from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

While the number of seats across India for degree and diploma pharmacy courses increased to 2,62,698 in 2019-20 from 2,04,951 in 2018-19, the number of institutes rose to 3,276 in 2019-20 from 2,306 in 2018-19.

In the academic year 2018-19, there were 480 pharmacy institutes in state, offering diploma, undergraduate and post graduate courses. For 2019-20, 81 new institutes have been approved to start admissions. This takes the total number of pharmacy institutes to 556 (five colleges sought permission for closure) in 2019-20.

“Pharmacy has been trending for the past two years. Last year too, the AICTE approved many new pharmacy institutes. This year, we’ve been very strict with our rules and only approved those colleges which have appropriate infrastructure and staff,” said Anil D Sahasrabudhe, AICTE chairman.

He said that like every year, a special team inspected all applications, and based on the report, approvals were issued this week.

Dr Krishna Iyer, chairman, board of studies for pharmacy, University of Mumbai, said pharmacy institutes have rarely complained of seat vacancy, unless they are new. “Students have a lot of options to branch out once they complete their graduation [in pharmacy] and it’s easy to apply for higher education,” said Iyer, an alumnus of the department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry Research at the Bombay College of Pharmacy.Moreover, he said, fierce competition in other health science sectors has also contributed to the popularity of pharmacy courses.

“The competition for medical seats is so strong at present that more and more students are opting for pharmacy courses after failing to get a medical seat. This has led to many new institutes. Generally, around 50% of the batch is easily placed in the placement season while the rest pursue higher education,” Iyer said, adding in some cases, placements are much better in pharmacy colleges as compared to some engineering colleges.

While pharmacy institutes are positive they will continue to attract students year after year, experts have expressed concern over the rate at which these institutes are cropping up, especially in states such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

“These colleges, especially the ones in rural parts of the country, are witnessing 15-20% seat vacancy. The situation is worrisome as jobs in the pharmacy sector are not growing at the same rate as the colleges. Very soon, these institutes may face a situation like engineering colleges did a few years ago,” said a senior AICTE official on condition of anonymity.

First Published: May 19, 2019 03:03 IST