AICTE to notify modified and expanded model internship guidelines for pharmacy and other technical courses soon

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, ChennaiFriday, September 7, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

With a view to expose technical students including those pursuing pharmacy courses to industrial environment and provide opportunities to sharpen their practical skill, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will soon notify a modified and expanded Model Internship Guidelines for all technical courses.

The duration of internship, weightage marks, modalities of training, orientation, capacity building, practice etc have been increased from the existing guidelines. The draft of the Model was published in July this year and it sought suggestions and complaints from all the stakeholders before notifying the final one.

According to AICTE, the rise in global competition prompted the Council to devise novel strategies for making a talented and innovative workforce for the industry and services sectors. The new strategy is based on an internship policy which envisages creation of a future talent pool for the industry and allied sectors. The guidelines clarify that the modified internship programme will not only help fresh pass-outs in gaining professional know-how, but also benefit the industry with future skilled personnel.

The model guidelines mandate strict training for skill development either during the course time or after completing the course period. What is different from the existing mode is that the training will give emphasize on both theory and practice, and the duration of the industrial training will be increased for each course. However, the students will have option to either go for a full-time internship or part time.

Pharmacy education expert and former principal of Government Pharmacy College, Thiruvananthapuram, Dr. K G Revikumar has informed the Internship Policy Cell of the AICTE that the technical education regulator, in consultation with the Pharmacy Council of India, should initiate steps for establishing tie-ups with leading medical institutions like AIIMS, research centres like DST, DBT, ICMR, regulatory body like CDSCO and industry organizations such as OPPI, IDMA, FICCI etc for doing practical trainings for the pharmacy students. Many universities and institutions are doing exchange programmes of brilliant students with institutions in abroad. If a MoU of such a kind is in force in India, it will enable the pharmacy students to have training and coaching in foreign institutions, he commented.

Another major suggestion given to AICTE by Dr Revikumar is that the final guidelines should define and clearly specify the areas of training for the pharmacy students. Students of B Pharm, M Pharm and Pharm D can get training in industrial units, quality control & testing labs, hospitals, research centres, hospital pharmacies and community pharmacies. For the engineering students, the draft mentioned only the term ‘industry’ which in pharmacy, refers to the manufacturing units. Apart from engineering courses, students of pharmacy can get training in different areas and it has to be clearly specified.

Similarly, for the students of the Pharm D programme, weightage marks (credits) should be given more than those given to D Pharm, B Pharm and M Pharm students.