Higher Education

Higher Education

AICTE to check mushrooming pharmaceutical colleges

PUBLISH DATE 6th June 2018

Cites increasing vacant seats in Engg colleges and students choosing Pharmacy as reasons


To check the ‘unregulated’ growth of pharma colleges in the state, the chairman of all India council for technical education (AICTE), the technical education statutory body, said on Tuesday that institutions with run-of-themill programmes will not be approved.

Against the backdrop of stringent laws imposed by AICTE on engineering colleges and higher percentage of vacant seats, academicians have pointed out a trend of migration to pharmacy colleges, both by students and college managements to account for the loss of enrolment.

According to their website, more than 1,600 institutes in the country now offer pharmacy courses. Maharashtra stands on top with a total of 438 pharma colleges, followed by Uttar Pradesh (170), Telangana (151), and Andhra Pradesh (142).

“Till now, we had been handicapped due to lack of regulations to control the growth of these colleges. Looking at the trend, the dearth can push pharma colleges to face the same fate as their engineering counterparts. Hence, we are planning to employ a fiveyear plan, with a focus on approving only new programmes. Colleges that will provide run-of-themill general technical courses and seek our approval will be rejected,” said Anil D Sahasrabudhe, AICTE chairman. He added that the plan will also cover other technical course institutions.

“We do not want to add to the existing bulk of vacant seats, as in case of the engineering colleges,” said Sahasrabudhe.

In 2017-18, the AICTE records show that out of 32,25,53 vacant engineering seats in state, only 16,43,78 were enrolled. On the other hand, in pharma colleges, out of 36,093 seats, 32,842 enrollments were completed last year.

According to DR Nandanwar, joint director, technical education regional office under the directorate of technical education, Maharashtra, the trend is because of the diminishing quality of engineering education with the increasing quantity.

“The job scenario for engineering graduates is bleak, pushing students to look for lucrative options like pharmacy, which recently has established a booming market. Only five to six years ago, the situation was opposite. It is the beginning of a new cycle, but should be regulated properly so that it does not end up like engineering colleges,” Nandanwar said.

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