Policy Matter

Union govt’s Skill India programme to drive pharma sector

In sync with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Skill India initiative, the pharmaceutical sector is now looking at mapping of pharmacist manpower requirements for the sector. The industry and the Pharmacy Council of India are expected to work out a strategy to match job creation with industry demand.Union-govt-Skill-India-programme

Currently, from the 1,100 pharmacy colleges in the country, there are 1.5 lakh candidates passing out of these institutes every year. The reality is that while there are job openings, the candidates are of the view that they are not suitably employed as per their area of study.

Pharmacists are grappling with the widening gap of expertise in area of drug dispensing, manufacturing, marketing, storage and distribution logistics, among others. Therefore there is need to identify the right openings in job opportunities. This is where the Pharmacy Council of India will need to add a component of skill development in its new syllabus, stated Dr. Saranjit Singh, professor and head, Pharmaceutical Analysis, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, (NIPER) Punjab.

Skill development of pharmacists is the cornerstone for a healthy India. Pharmacists are seen to have access to several promising job openings. Although 1.5 lakh pharmacists graduate annually, none of these educational institutions define a job role for the pharmacists prior to campus selection. It is critical for the pharmacy colleges to outline job profiles based on the candidate’s qualification, said Dr. Singh at a discussion on ‘Pharmacists for a healthy India’.

The government has announced National Skill Development Mission. In pharmacy education too, there is need to ensure constant updating of training programmes and syllabi to ensure that the pharmacists are exposed to latest technology and industry environment. It is equally vital to ensure that Pharmacy Council of India works to promote both apprenticeship and entrepreneurship. It is imperative to predict the possibilities of the future and prepare the pharmacists today itself. Therefore skill development is the mantra. Only skill development programmes can enable the pharmacists to sit at the driving seat. The access to not just qualified but adequately trained manpower with relevant exposure to a candidate’s specialization is of prime importance, said Dr. Singh.

Pharmacy Council of India should now work to create a checklist to identify the intrinsic values of each job avenues in the country and look to devise a dedicated programme to enable the pharmacists to be adequately skilled for the employment openings in the sector, he said.

The government already has unveiled a slew of projects covering National Skill Development Council, Life Sciences Skill Development Council and Health Skill Development Council where clear-cut requirements to match job creation with industry demand are provided, said Dr. Singh.

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