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AICTE to check mushrooming pharmaceutical colleges in Maharashtra

Academicians point out that stringent laws imposed on engineering colleges and higher percentage of vacant seats have led college managements and students to opt for pharmacy colleges.

pune Updated: Jun 06, 2018 17:34 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
AICTE,Education,Pune
According to AICTE website, more than 1,600 institutes in the country offer pharmacy courses. Among these, Maharashtra stands on top with a total of 438 pharma colleges, followed by Uttar Pradesh (170), Telangana (151), and Andhra Pradesh (142).(HINDUSTAN TIMES PHOTO)

Pune To check the ‘unregulated’ growth of pharma colleges in the state, the chairman of all India council for technical education (AICTE), the technical education statutory body, said on Tuesday that institutions with run-of-the-mill programmes will not be approved.

Against the backdrop of stringent laws imposed by AICTE on engineering colleges and higher percentage of vacant seats, academicians have pointed out a trend of migration to pharmacy colleges, both by students and college managements to account for the loss of enrolment.

According to their website, more than 1,600 institutes in the country now offer pharmacy courses. Among these, Maharashtra stands on top with a total of 438 pharma colleges, followed by Uttar Pradesh (170), Telangana (151), and Andhra Pradesh (142).

“Till now, we had been handicapped due to lack of proper regulations to control the growth of these colleges. Looking at the trend, the dearth can push pharma colleges to face the same fate as their engineering counterparts. Hence, we are planning to employ a five-year plan, with a focus on approving only new programmes. Colleges that will provide run-of-the-mill general technical courses and seek our approval will be rejected,” said Anil D Sahasrabudhe, AICTE chairman. He added that the plan will also cover other technical course institutions.

“Even with respect to engineering colleges, this condition will apply. We do not want to add to the existing bulk of vacant seats, as in case of the engineering colleges,” said Sahasrabudhe.

In the year 2017-18, the AICTE records show that out of 32,25,53 vacant engineering seats in Maharashtra alone, only 16,43,78 were enrolled. On the other hand, in pharma colleges, out of 36,093 seats, 32,842 enrollments were completed last year.

According to DR Nandanwar, joint director, technical education regional office under the directorate of technical education, Maharashtra, the trend is because of the diminishing quality of engineering education with the increasing quantity.

“The job scenario for engineering graduates is bleak and that is pushing prospective students to look for other lucrative options like pharmacy, which recently has established a booming market. Only five to six years ago, the situation was opposite when pharma colleges were almost negligent. It is the beginning of a new cycle, but should be regulated properly so that it does not end up like engineering colleges,” Nandanwar said.

First Published: Jun 06, 2018 17:33 IST