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Assam D Pharm exit exam row: Pharmacy Council warns Srimanta Sankaradeva University

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Assam D Pharm exit exam row Pharmacy Council warns Srimanta Sankaradeva University
Assam D Pharm exit exam row Pharmacy Council warns Srimanta Sankaradeva University

Guwahati: The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has warned Assam’s Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences (SSUHS) of legal action for “illegally” announcing an Exit Exam for students who completed the D.Pharm program in the 2021-2023 academic session.’

The development comes a week after Gauhati High Court on April 8, 2024 postponed the SSUHS exit exam scheduled for April 21 to assess graduates from private universities and non-affiliated institutions.

The PCI, a national regulatory body for pharmacy education, in a letter to Srimanta Sankaradeva University categorically stated that the university has no authority to conduct the Exit Examinations of the students who have passed Diploma Course in Pharmacy.

“As per the ‘Diploma in Pharmacy Exit Examination Regulations, 2022’, PCI is the only Prescribed Authority to conduct the Diploma in Pharmacy Exit Examination from time to time,” the letter read.
PCI

Official Notification: click here to view

The PCI bolsters its claim by citing a landmark Supreme Court judgment (Pharmacy Council of India v. Dr. SK Toshniwal Educational Trusts).

This judgment established the supremacy of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 in regulating pharmacy education and the pharmacy profession. This effectively places the control of Exit Exams under the PCI’s purview.

The PCI warned SSUHS of legal consequences if they proceed with the exam. Additionally, the PCI requested the Assam government’s intervention to ensure compliance with PCI regulations.

SSUHS Announced Exam Despite PCI Clarification

On February 28, 2024, SSUHS announced an Exit Exam for D.Pharm students from private universities and non-affiliated institutions who graduated during the 2021-2023 academic session. This announcement seemingly contradicts the PCI’s circular issued on December 23, 2023.

The PCI in a circular issued on December 23, 2023, clearly mentioned that students admitted during the 2022-2023 academic session and passed out in 2023-2024 must clear an Exit Exam and fulfill other prescribed condition under section 32 (A) of The Pharmacy Act, 1948 to qualify for pharmacist registration.

Gauhati High Court Imposes Temporary Stay

The Gauhati High Court in an order imposed a temporary stay on the Assam government’s regulations including a mandatory exit exam for pharmacy graduates from private universities and non-affiliated institutions before they could be licensed as pharmacists.

Gauhati High Court judge Justice N Unni Krishnan Nair, presiding over the case, raised doubts about the Assam government’s authority to regulate the pharmacy profession based on a preliminary review of the Pharmacy Act 1948.

(The content of this article is sourced from a news agency and has not been edited by the NEDP team.)