Maharashtra: State Nod for 30 New Pharmacy Colleges Amid Vacant Seats

Maharashtra: State Nod for 30 New Pharmacy Colleges Amid Vacant Seats

The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) has issued no-objection certificates to the proposed institutes after the Bombay High Court (HC) ruled against the Pharmacy Council of India’s (PCI) directive to put a halt to new institutes in the state.

Musab QaziUpdated: Monday, July 08, 2024, 04:29 PM IST
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Representational image | FPJ NEWS SERVICE

Mumbai: Despite more than 14,000 vacant Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) seats in Maharashtra, around 30 new pharmacy colleges will likely be opened in the state in the upcoming academic year 2024-25.

Directorate Of Technical Education Issues No-Objection Certificates

The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) has issued no-objection certificates to the proposed institutes after the Bombay High Court (HC) ruled against the Pharmacy Council of India’s (PCI) directive to put a halt to new institutes in the state. The new colleges will be able to admit students after receiving the final nod from PCI, the apex body of pharma education in the country. With the new approvals, the overall intake of undergraduate programme will increase by at least 1,800.

The state has been witnessing a significant proliferation of institutes in recent years, following the boom in the Indian drug industry. However, even as enrolment in pharmaceutical courses barely increased after peaking in the academic year 2021-22, new institutes kept coming up. This led to 14,355 out of 42,794 (33.54%) of BPharm seats without any takers in 2023-24. Worried that the demand-supply disparity could result in poor education quality and unemployment among graduates, the state higher and technical education department in December last year wrote to PCI, suggesting that no new pharmaceutical institute be allowed to come up in the state in the new academic year. The apex body accepted the request in a letter issued in February.

This isn’t the first time the PCI put a halt on new pharma institutes. Noting the unabated growth in pharmacy institutes and graduates, the council, in July 2019, had put a nationwide moratorium on starting new colleges offering diploma and degree programmes. However, the decision was set aside by the Delhi High Court in March 2022, in response to multiple petitions by educational bodies. The verdict was later upheld by the Supreme Court. The PCI’s latest directive was also challenged in the Bombay High Court by around 20 educational bodies.

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