Rajya Sabha

December 9, 2021

Abir Ranjan Biswas speaks on NIPER (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Abir Ranjan Biswas speaks on NIPER (Amendment) Bill, 2021



Sir, I rise today to speak on The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill 2021. The Bill seeks to amend the 1998 National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act. By the 1998 Act, an institute was set up in Punjab and it was designated an Institute of National Importance. Now, six more National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, located in Ahmedabad, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Raebareli, are designated as Institutes of National Importance by the Bill. 


As the previous speaker said, only designating an institute as an Institute of National Importance doesn’t suffice. You need to create the infrastructure and all the obstacles that lie in the path to upgrade it. 


The Standing Committee had made certain recommendations which have not been taken into account in the Bill. Firstly, I would like to say that the Bill proposes to appoint three Members of Parliament to the Council. The Standing Committee recommended that such Members be appointed as those experienced in medical or pharmaceutical fields. This has not been taken into account.


The Committee observed that despite all NIPERs being designated as Institutes of National Importance, there are three significant differences among NIPERs in terms of infrastructure, courses offered, campus placement, and academic research and output. It was suggested that specific parameters be developed to ensure every NIPER meets the standards of an Institute of National Importance. 


The Committee had also advised that the Finance Ministry’s Economic and Finance Committee expedite approval for the process of permanent campuses for all the NIPERs. Except for the Punjab one, the others don’t even have a permanent campus, and we are moving ahead with giving them the Institute of National Importance status. It was also advised to expedite the process for upgrading the laboratories of all the institutes. 


The Standing Committee had also said that the proposals for establishing NIPERs in five other places, that is, Madurai, Jhalawar, Nagpur, New Raipur and Bengaluru, which are pending, be given priority. This has also not been taken care of.


The Committee had also noted that the Bill does not account for the transfer of directors and academic members between NIPERs. It noted that transfers among NIPERs would enable the institutes to share and learn. This has also been neglected. It was suggested that the Department of Pharmaceuticals be given the authority to allow such transfers.


I further submit that in India the number of institutes offering degrees in pharmacy should be increased. A doctorate in pharmacy degree, D Pharm, has been launched by several private institutes. 


There is little published material regarding the current state of pharmacy education in India. This also needs to be taken care of.


There is a need for more dissemination of information on courses related to pharmaceutical education and research. 


Another important matter is that parity should be maintained between the national pharmaceutical institutes and the private institutions. A common guideline and structure should be laid down to ensure the quality of education is the same across the institutes. This has also not been taken care of. My humble request to the Honourable Minister is to throw some light on this.


Lastly, I would like to say that in the board, whose number of members has been reduced from 23 to 12, the drug controllers of the various states should have been accommodated. 


These were my submissions, With this, I conclude. Thank you, Sir.