Interaction – Express Pharma Pulse

Confusion in diploma institutes

Sir, With regard to pharma education, there is an uncertainty about D Pharm colleges in India. The news of discontinuing of diploma course in pharmacy has been in air for the past few years. Now after PCI passed a resolution and intimated to all colleges about it in November 2000, the issue is being seriously taken.

According to this PCI proposal, Nov 2000, diploma would be upgraded to degree and hence minimum qualification for registration would be B Pharm. This proposal is awaiting approval from Central government. Now we in D Pharm colleges do not know how much time would be required in decision making.

If the proposal is accepted by the government then D Pharm colleges are left with two optionsb either upgrade to degree or else close down the institute. The conversion from diploma to degree requires huge funding. Govt aided colleges would require funds from the government for this upgradation and in the present scenario this would be a difficult task. Many of the private managements are not willing for this conversion because of lack of funds. There are about 360 diploma colleges in India and many of them may have to close down due to inability to raise funds required for upgradation.

Then the well-settled teaching and non-teaching staff in these colleges numbering in around 12000 may be heading towards a dark future. Their families will have to face harships due to retrechment. This apprehension about the future seeps right from the top administration to the bottom most level. While acquiring new equipment or facilities or starting new trends in education the college administration staff has to undergo utmost troubles. Though changes anywhere are bound to cause some kind of problem, the staff is just one of them. There are several other issues like suitability of this change in current Indian conditions, issue about the trade people etc which have discussed widely by eminent personalities like Prof P C Dandiya and Dr J K Lalla.

Futher students belonging to lower middle class families and who are presently enrolled for the course will be hit by this change. The diploma pharmacists mainly cater to the need of drug stores and hospitals and also work in pharma marketing and production. Thus diploma provides easy self-employment at a lower cost compared to expensive degree education.

Hence it would be prudent for the authorities to debate the issue in detail at appropriate platform before introducing it arbitrarily.

Mrs Manjiri Gharat
Mumbai