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A fillip to pharma sector

The decks have been cleared for the development of the six new National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research


The NIPERs are expected to contribute about 1,500 professionals to the sector annually



For a bright future: Students of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Hyderabad

The decks have been cleared at the highest level for the future development of the six new National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER).

The proposal recently received Cabinet approval, which makes it possible for the six to continue their present operations till the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs clears the final plans for their development.

The Union Cabinet had, in 2007, given an ‘in principle’ approval for conducting classes at the six NIPERs only for two years — 2007-08 and 2008-09.

The present approval paves the way for their operation for the next two years. Meanwhile, proposals based on the detailed project report drawn up for each of the NIPERs are to be submitted for approval, said an official announcement.

Four of the NIPERs were established in 2007, each with the help of mentor institutes.

•Ahmedabad: mentor institute: B.V. Patel Pharmaceutical Education and Research Development Centre

•Hajipur: mentor institute: Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna

•Hyderabad: mentor institute: Indian Institute of Chemical Technology

•Kolkata: mentor institute: Indian Institute of Chemical Biology

Two other NIPERs were set up in 2008.

•Guwahati: mentor institute: Medical College, Guwahati

•Rae Bareli: mentor institute: Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow

Subjects

This year’s NIPER joint entrance examination (NIPER-JEE 2009) for admissions to M.S. (Pharm.), M.Pharm., M.Tech. (Pharm.) and M.B.A. (Pharm.) courses had covered a range of disciplines at these six institutes, apart from the NIPER at Mohali, which was the first of its kind to be established in the country in 1988.

The subjects included biotechnology, natural products and pharmaceutics at NIPER, Ahmedabad; pharmacology and toxicology and pharmacy practice at NIPER, Guwahati; biotechnology, pharmacoinformatics and pharmacy practice at NIPER, Hajipur; medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical analysis and pharmacology and toxicology at NIPER, Hyderabad; medicinal chemistry, natural products and pharmacoinformatics at NIPER, Kolkata; and medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutics at NIPER, Rae Bareli. A high power special committee was set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development during the establishment of the first NIPER to assess the present and future requirement of manpower in the pharmaceutical sciences and related areas and take stock of the available facilities.

The committee had recommended in 1987 that similar institutions be set up in various regions and zones to meet the requirements of the pharmaceutical industry.

The setting up of institutions like NIPER had been recommended by the working group on drugs and pharmaceuticals constituted by the Planning Commission and the National Manufacturing Competitive Council.

These NIPERs, apart from awarding master’s and doctoral degrees in different pharmaceutical science streams, were meant to give a boost to pharmaceutical research and development. They were to be equipped with cutting-edge research infrastructure.

The seven NIPERs are expected to contribute about 1,500 highly qualified professionals to the sector annually, when fully functional.

Cost factor

The cost of setting up each NIPER would work out to Rs.330 crore, including a public-private partnership component, according to the detailed project report submitted by a consultant. Each institute would also require about 100 acres of land, which is to be provided by the respective State governments free.

It would take about five years to set them up and make them fully functional.

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