While engineering colleges have been facing a problem of plenty for the last few years where demand is far lesser than supply thanks to mushrooming of engineering colleges across the state, the situation is quite the opposite when it comes to pharmacy or architecture, the two other courses governed by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE).
With high demand for seats and fewer admission options, DTE officials say that the problem of vacancy in these faculties is far lesser. As per the directorate’s data, Pune region has 53 pharmacy institutes with an intake capacity of 3,780. Last year, all the seats were taken up in pharmacy colleges.
Joint director of technical education DR Nandanwar attributed the increase in students’ interest in the field to expansion in the job market due to increased foreign investment in pharmaceutical companies.
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“I think the biggest factor that has given a boost to the demand for pharmacy is the strict policy adopted by regulatory authorities where all chemists’ shops are required by law to have a pharmacist. The implementation of the law has been made extremely strict and that’s why the demand for registered pharmacists has gone up tremendously,” Nandanwar said.
“Also, given the increase in the number of research oriented jobs in pharma-biotech companies and even recruitment opportunities in corporate sector, especially ITs, is leading to demand for pharmacy,” Nandan-war added. There are approximately 160 pharmacy colleges in the state with a total intake capacity of over 10,000.
Pravin Chaudhuri, principal of Modern College of Pharmacy agreed that the demand for pharmacy courses has been growing in the last couple of years due to newer opportunities for career growth.
“Earlier, the traditional jobs would be in sales or marketing of pharma companies, production, quality control, formulation development and drug discovery of Indian drug manufacturing companies,” Chaudhuri said.
“However, we are now seeing newer kind of job avenues like clinical research opportunities in scientific institutions, intellectual property rights, pharmaco-vigilance and especially, a lot of opportunities in clinical data management,” Chaudhuri further said.
“I think lowering of opportunities in the engineering sector due to the problem of plenty is diverting many students here since they have more job prospects,” Chaudhuri added.
The loss of engineering faculty is not just a gain for pharmacy colleges but architecture colleges too. “I think it might be for two reasons. Firstly, architecture is a professional degree and just like medicine, one can set up an independent practice even if the person doesn’t get a corporate job. The number of engineers who are self-employed are far lesser than the number of architects. Secondly, due to lesser number of seats in architecture colleges, vacancies are fewer too,” Nandanwar said.
Pushkar Kavinde, principal of B.K.P.S College of Architecture said unlike foreign nationals where the ratio is one architect per 3,000 population, in India, it is 10 times lesser.
“In our college, we have never seen a vacancy of seats and even otherwise, it is quite popular. But I would say this is one of the best time to get into architecture. With Smart Cities, we would need many architects. Today, the concentration of most architects is in the metros. But in Tier I and II cities where there is a huge shortage, there is tremendous opportunity,” Kavinde said.
For students who take up specialisation in town planning, urban design or transportation, there is a huge scope. We are also seeing a surge in new job roles for architects, especially in project management jobs, product design and so on,” Kavinde further said.