The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) is all set to make exit examination mandatory for students passing out diploma in pharmacy from academic year 2017-18 to become eligible for registration with state pharmacy councils.
The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of central council of PCI held in Ooty recently.
The draft regulation regarding the exit exam will be put on the PCI website in a week seeking comments from stakeholders over next couple of months. The exam will be introduced from the date of the enforcement of the regulation which is likely to take place by August this year, said PCI president Dr B Suresh.
The aim of the examination is to test subject knowledge of the students passing out diploma course and bring uniformity in training and teaching quality of the course churning out pharmacists responsible for public healthcare, said Dr Suresh.
As per the existing regulation, those passing out diploma course are eligible for registration with state pharmacy council where they want to practise.
The exit exam comprising of three papers carrying 100 marks each will be conducted by PCI or an agency designated by it twice a year. All the three papers will consist of both objective and subjective type questions covering topics such as pharmaceutics, chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacognosy, forensic pharmacy, biochemistry, physiology, etc. The exam for all the three papers will be held for three hours each. Initially, it will be both paper based and online exams. Later the test will be conducted online. The candidates are required to score 50 per cent marks in each paper and 50 per cent aggregate in three papers to become eligible for registration with state pharmacy councils, he said.
After passing pharmacy diploma course in any of the PCI approved colleges, students will have to appear for the exit exam. They can go for registration after clearing the exam.
Those who previously passed out diploma course are not required to take the exit exam, he clarified.
Maharashtra state pharmacy council had conducted an exam to test knowledge base of pharmacy students. Since there was no statutory provision mandating MSPC to hold such exams, the council discontinued it.
Welcoming the PCI decision to conduct the exit exam, Maharashtra Registered Pharmacist Association (MRPA) president Kailas Tandale said that it would help prevent students who somehow manage pharmacy diploma certificates from registering with the state pharmacy councils.