If almost every other college-goer aimed for an MBBS at one time and an MBA label was a rage a couple of years back, a degree in pharmacy has become the preferred option of many students.
Fuelled by market projections of its immense scope, it is fast emerging as a favourite stream among students across the country and the number of applications for the third joint entrance exam at National institute of pharmaceutical education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, for six such new institutes seem to bear this out.
Reflecting renewed interest in this branch of knowledge over last two years, 3,854 candidates applied for 416 seats this time compared to 2,000 trying their luck for 350 seats at NIPER last year.
According to McKinsey and Company, the country’s pharmaceutical market could reach a size of USD 20 billion by 2015, becoming one of the top 10 drug markets in the world. Ranked fourth according to volume, the Indian pharma industry is a leading producer of high-quality, low-cost generic drugs.
As P Rama Rao, director, NIPER, Mohali, said, “The coming up of six more NIPERs — at Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Hajipur (Bihar) Guwahati (Assam), Raibareilly (UP) and Kolkata (WB) — indicates the demand for highly trained manpower in the industry. We started in 1998 with 26 students and now there are approximately 150. There has been introduction of some new courses like the traditional medicine and regulatory toxicology.”
Strategic linkages, too, have led to increasing the ambit of students’ learning. The institute has inked memoranda of understanding with MidWestern University, Chicago, School of Pharmacy, London, and College of Hertfordshire, UK, indicating interest in the Indian pharma educational institutes. “The System biology worldwide, Finland, too, has evinced interest in our drug discovery project,” added Rao.
To coordinate the research activities of all new NIPERs, a Pharmagrid is expected to be set up by 2012. “We shall get interconnected to the rest of the institutes and share resources of the mother institute at Mohali,” said Rao.
Source: Times of India