HRD Ministery under Prakash Javadekar reportedly has agreed that there should be only one regulating authority for pharmacy education. As per reports minister has agreed to remove Pharmacy from definition of technical education.
Update: Supreme court orders in march 2020 that pharmacy ACT will prevail over AICTE. So now only PCI will regulate pharmacy. Now reference to pharmacy as technical education will be removed.
Currently Pharmacy Institute require approval from AICTE and PCI both. AICTE act defines pharmacy as technical education. If Act is amended and pharmacy is removed from definition of technical education then only PCI will regulate the pharmacy education in country. Colleges will no longer require AICTE approval. Status and work nature of pharmacist in India will be decided by rules and regulations of Pharmacy Council Of India only .
There could be some Pro and cons of this step. On the positive side it can be said that the regulation from multiple authorities have hampered the pharmacy education. Pharmacy curriculum and jurisdiction have been bone of contention between the two organisations. Institutes find it cumbersome to meet the separate criteria of both the authorities. When PCI become the sole regulating authority this issue will cease to exist.
On the other hand many pharmacists feel that PCI is not well structured to take these responsibilities. They feel that there should be single authority but not in current form. They are in favour of reconstitution of PCI and its management rules to make it more transparent and accountable. It is widely felt that PCI officers have developed vested interest with the institutes, this has lead to the stagnation of pharmacy education, and negatively impacted pharmacy status in India. For example PCI makes lame excuses when they are suggested to stop outdated diploma in near future and to continue with better professional education system.
Pharmagang’s Take: Pharmagang team is in favour of single regulating authority but that authority should be transparent and accountable It should represent the pharmacist from various fields and should be able to accommodate young mind. Single Authority should dedicatedly work for improving pharmacy education, pharmacy reputation, and implementation of pharmacy laws.
Lets see if this proposal going to be implemented soon, and if PCI is also reconstituted to implement its responsibilities in more transparent and efficient way. We will update on the issue whenever things move ahead.