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APTI candidate from northeast pledges to tackle teachers’ problems, work for synergy between industry & academia

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Friday, May 27, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Signifying the need of greater synergy between industry and academia for quality pharmacy education and highlighting the shortage of institutions in the northeast, a faculty member of a pharmacy college in Tripura has come into the APTI election fray and pledges to tackle all the academic issues within five years if he gets elected as vice-president from the eastern zone.

Dr Santanu Malik, associate professor at the Bharat Pharmaceutical Technology (BPT) in Agartala is the candidate for vice-president from the eastern zone. The eastern zone of the Association of Pharmacy Teachers of India (APTI) has 11 states, namely Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.
According to him, this is the first time in the history of APTI election, a candidate from the north eastern states is contesting for a national post in the professional body. He puts forth several developmental agenda for improving quality pharmacy education, job opportunities and industry-academic collaboration in all the north east. He foresees growth in the educational sector and employability in industry for the pharmacy graduates and diploma holders in the eastern part of the country which includes Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha in addition to the seven sister states and Sikkim.
Briefing Pharmabiz about his election strategy over telephone from Agartala, Dr Santanu said he focuses on strengthening industry-academia relations in pharmacy education in all the 11 states through co-operation of faculty members and industry leaders. In the area of the eastern zone of the association, Bihar and West Bengal are having pharmaceutical industries, whereas Odisha lacks industries but has a good number of pharmacy colleges. As far as the northeast is concerned, only Sikkim has the manufacturing industrial units and it is becoming a hub of pharma. Even then, students from the north east are going to Delhi, Hyderabad and Baddy for industrial training. This happens because of lack of interaction between academic community and industry leaders. He said he will conduct seminars and workshops in all institutions in these states with participation from industry. Apart from skill development, students will get placements on completion of their graduation from the colleges there.  
Pointing to the number of institutions in the eastern zone, Dr Santanu said Bihar is the state which has the highest number of institutions, 77, and West Bengal comes next with 63. The third position goes to Odisha which has 47 colleges. All these institutions run diploma and degree courses.
As far as the northeast is concerned, Assam has 11 institutions, Tripura and Sikkim have two each, Manipur and Mizoram have one each. Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland have no institution for pharmaceutical sciences.
The candidate said he is familiar with all these states and through APTI and PCI, he will strive to bring more institutions to the northeast with support from industry. He pledged that there would be no state in the northeast without a pharmacy college after five years. Simultaneously, he will try to expand the activities of APTI to all the states in the northeast and increase the number of members.  
Dr Santanu’s educational reforms include introduction of Pharm D in Bihar, WB, Odisha and in the northeast from next academic year onwards. APTI will approach all state governments with requests to establish posts of Clinical Pharmacists in all the government and private healthcare institutions. In addition to this, he will write to the PCI to nominate him as a member to the central council representing APTI and similar representation will be given to the union ministry of education to recommend his name to some reforms committee under the ministry representing APTI. 
He said he is optimistic about his victory as there is only one opposition candidate who is from Odisha state which had representation in the APTI national committee in the last term.


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