The Mother Theresa Post Graduate and Research Institute of Health Sciences in Pondicherry will start two-year diploma courses in Ayurveda Pharmacy, Siddha Pharmacy and Homoeopathy Pharmacy from this academic year onwards, said Dr R Murali, dean of the Institute.
This is the first time a health educational institution in Pondicherry is starting D Pharm course in Ayush subjects. Gujarat Ayurveda University in Ahmedabad and Aringar Anna Hospital of ISM in Chennai are the other two institutes in India conducting D Pharm course in Ayurveda and in Siddha.
The dean said the department of ISM in the college is conducting the course in collaboration with the Ayush department of Pondicherry government. Message about the commencement of the course has been sent to the Ayush department in New Delhi. On completion of the course, the students will have one month internship in the ISM PHCs and private clinics in Pondicherry.
“We got the approval from the government for starting the course. Now we are waiting for affiliation from Board of Medical Education, government of Pondicherry. The course will be started from this academic year,” he added.
The syllabus of the course will include basic anatomy, physiology, properties of medicine, manufacturing process, pharmacology, pharmacognozy and dispensing practice. Besides, there will be special papers on drugs store management, computer application in pharmacy and health education, the dean said.
Dr K Gopal, principal of the College of Pharmacy at the Institute said the first three batches will be absorbed by the Pondicherry government as there are a lot of vacancies for Ayush pharmacists in the hospitals and PHCs in the union territory at present. He said three of the twelve laboratories in the college are set aside for practical purpose of the students joining the course. The basic qualification of the applicant is 10+2.
Dr T Thirunarayanan, secretary of the Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research said, previously there was a proposal to start the diploma course in Siddha in Pondicherry, subsequently discussion was held with Ayush secretary. But later it was found that the job opportunity for the course was very less there, and the same situation is continuing still now. He said after three years all the Siddha D Pharm certificate holders will become jobless.
However, he suggested that the Pondicherry government could send a minimum of ten students each to the government Siddha colleges at Palayamkottai in Thirunelveli and at Arumbakom in Chennai for the same course and on completion of the course they could be appointed as ISM Pharmacists at the PHCs in Pondicherry. Else, after five years, Pondicherry will become a state of jobless Siddha pharmacists, he added.