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No new pharmacy colleges or seat addition until 2022 as Modi govt reviews demand

AICTE move seeks to address the concerns over employability of pharmacy graduates. There are 2,694 pharmacy colleges in the country.

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New Delhi: Months after its decision to not allow opening of new engineering colleges from the next academic session, the Narendra Modi government has now decided to not permit new pharmacy colleges too, until the academic year 2021-22.

The decision — taken by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex body for technical education in the country — comes amid a mushrooming of pharmacy colleges in the last few years due to an increased interest in the subject.

The AICTE has also restricted the addition of new seats in existing pharmacy colleges, according to the move approved by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

“We have restricted opening of new pharmacy colleges and further seats intake in the existing colleges until 2022,” an AICTE official told ThePrint, adding that an expert committee will review the situation later.

“Depending upon the demand for the subject, we will see whether we should give approval for opening of new colleges or allow seat increase in the existing colleges,” said the official, who did not wish to be named.

The latest move seeks to address the concerns over employability of pharmacy graduates, similar to those over engineering graduates, sources in the government said.

Earlier this year, the Narendra Modi government had decided to not permit new engineering colleges, based on the recommendations of an expert committee headed by the chairman of IIT Hyderabad.

The pharmacy figures

In the last four years, pharmacy as a subject has seen a massive rise in demand.

The enrollment in pharmacy colleges across India went up from 1.05 lakh in academic year 2015-16 to 1.55 lakh in 2018-19. The intake for the course also increased accordingly from 1.73 lakh in 2015-16 to 2.05 lakh in 2018-19.

In the current academic year, the intake has reached 2.77 lakh, the AICTE figures reveal. However, the latest enrollment figures are yet to be released.

As a result of this growing interest, the number of pharmacy colleges in the country rose from 1,465 in 2015-16 to 2,694 in 2019-20.


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