Mysore: Addressing challenges faced by pharmacy education in India, Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Mr. Dhirendra Pal Singh, in his inaugural address at the three day Asian Association of Schools of Pharmacy Conference on ‘Integrating Pharmacy Education, Practice and Research’ emphasized on reworking the syllabus of study. He stated: “To meet challenges globally, we need to contribute towards harmonization of curriculum.” The inauguration was held at JSS Medical College.
The Pharmacy Council of India in 2014 had focused on bringing about curriculum changes to meet the requirements of the pharma industry, in collaboration with it, he added.
The Director further stated, “It is true that no education is complete if it is not integrated with practice and supported by research, more so in the pharmaceutical sector which is continuously evolving. Pharmacy education has undergone a paradigm shift in the past two decades. Prior to 1947, pharmacy course was offered by three institutions in India, the first being Banaras Hindu University in 1937. Now, more colleges offer pharmacy courses — there are over 2,000 colleges across the country. To set standards and regulate pharmacy education in the country, a law was enacted in 1948. In the past two decades, there’s been a sea change in pharma education.”
Speaking on accreditation, Mr Singh revealed that NAAC has already revised its accreditation process, making it robust, outcome-oriented, stakeholder friendly and transparent. He also referred to many institutions now moving towards international accreditation.
He further expressed concern about the delay in Vice Chancellor appointments to universities. He also spoke of the adverse effects on institutions due to delay in appointments of heads of institutions, including- Principals and Directors.
“I urge the state government and all concerned to ensure that a leader should be in place. As soon as the Vice-Chancellor’s term gets over, immediately there should be a replacement,” he told TOI. “In the interest of quality of higher education, principals, vice-chancellors, and directors should be in place. Only then can a major decision be taken,” he added.
The Commonwealth Fellowship was conferred on B Suresh for his pharmaceutical contributions by VSV Vadlamudi Rao. Six Commonwealth Fellowships were also given away to outstanding contributors of pharmacy. Mr. Suresh happens to be the sole Indian awardee this year.
Speaking on the occasion Suresh, also Vice-Chancellor, JSS University, said, “It is not an honour for me alone, but an honour for my country.”