Pharmacy colleges in Kerala flouting rules in admitting students for Pharm D course

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Monday, June 16, 2014, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]
Taking advantage of government apathy, the managements of the private pharmacy colleges in Kerala are allegedly flouting the rules and regulations enacted by government for admissions for pharmacy courses, specifically for Pharm D programme.

The breach of norms includes collection of capitation fees even from meritorious students and violation of reservations guaranteed for OBC and SC-ST candidates.

The supercilious managements are at their willfulness to defy the merit quota for admissions and fill up all the 30 seats (100 per cent) of the Pharm D in management quota, says students seeking admissions to the six year course.

According to some admission seekers, certain colleges are asking for a sum of Rs. 10 lakhs as capitation fee in addition to the annual course fees. The course fee for the first year of Pharm D comes around Rs. 2 lakh. Students who secured over 98 per cent marks at Plus 2 level also have to pay capitation fee for their admissions.

While speaking to Pharmabiz, some parents said the college managements have formed a consortium to channelise the admission process through a centralised system, but it is not working. The admissions are carried out by each college directly by giving separate notifications in newspapers to attract students to apply separately by downloading the application forms from their websites.

“The government is not interfering in the admission process of the pharmacy courses. So, the colleges are freely manipulating the admission process defying all norms. They are asking for money towards capitation fee ranging from Rs. 8 lakh to 10 lakh in addition to the annual fee of Rs. 2 lakh for the first year for a Pharm D admission. The student will have to spend more than Rs. 30 lakh towards fees alone on completion of his/her course. Other expenses are separate”, said a parent of a student seeking admission for Pharm D.

According to him, the expenses incurred for Pharm D programme in Kerala is much higher when compared to the course fees in Tamil Nadu. He said the faculties and infrastructure facilities at the colleges in the neighbouring states are also better.

In Kerala, 11 colleges are conducting Pharm D programme, out of this 10 colleges come under Kerala Health University and one comes under Amrita University headquartered at Coimbatore.

The Pharm D course has very good demand in Kerala. Since no government institute is conducting the course, private colleges are taking advantage of it. The government pharmacy college attached to medical college at Thiruvananthapuram got approval from PCI in 2011 to start the course, but no further step was taken to conduct the course. The other government pharmacy college under state government is the one attached to the medical college at Kozhikodu, where also no step has been carried out to start Pharm D. This lethargic attitude of the government is helping the private institutions to violate all norms of admission process and fix capitation fee for all the courses.

In Tamil Nadu, the admission processes for Pharm D courses are done through a centralised system controlled by the professional colleges association.

Like, Pharm D, there is increasing demand for B Pharm and M Pharm courses in Kerala where 27 private colleges conduct B Pharm course, 9 colleges have the PG programme and 23 colleges conduct diploma in pharmacy course.