Seat hike sparks row.

The indiscriminate approvals given by the All India Council for Technical Education for additional intake in pharmacy colleges across the state has been challenged by the Pharmacy Council of India, and students are thus worried about the validity of their degrees.

AICTE has doubled the seats in a majority of pharmacy colleges from 60 to 120. It then increased the intake in some of the pharmacy colleges from 60 to 180, in violation of the norms prescribed by the PCI, the regulator of pharmacy education in the country. The total pharmacy seats in the state shot up to 36,000 this year as compared to 12,000 seats last year.

The PCI has objected strongly to the indiscriminate approval given by AICTE and made it clear that it will not grant recognition to more than 100 seats in a particular college. Students are worried that in the absence of PCI recognition, their pharmacy degrees may not be valid.

The PCI has even filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the orders of AICTE increasing the intake and against the state government for approving the same and including those additional seats in the recent Eamcet counselling.

“As per PCI norms, the maximum intake that can be allowed in a pharmacy college is 100 seats, that too if the college is in operation for four years and fulfills all the norms pertaining to faculty and infrastructure as per Section-XII of the Pharmacy Council of India Act.

Strangely, AICTE has approved additional intake in all the colleges. This will have adverse impact on the quality of pharmacy education,” said Prof B. Suresh, president, PCI.

He said PCI’s petition in this matter is pending before the Supreme Court and the council has also taken up the issue with the state government, asking it not to give its approval for the additional intake granted by AICTE and to direct the respective universities not to ratify the admissions exceeding 100 in any college.

Source : DC

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