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Odisha IPGA Urges Union Govt to Set Up NIPER

Written by : Nikita Saha

May 14, 2024

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Image Credits: NIPER Hyderabad

NIPER in Odisha will boost the state’s pharmaceutical education and research capabilities. It further highlighted the need for advanced pharmaceutical research facilities in the region.

In a significant move, the Odisha branch of the Indian Pharmaceutical Graduate Association (IPGA) has urged the Central Government to establish a National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Odisha.

According to the association, NIPER in Odisha will boost the state’s pharmaceutical education and research capabilities. It further highlighted the need for advanced pharmaceutical research facilities in the region.

The proposal has been forwarded to the relevant authorities. The IPGA awaits a positive response, hoping for swift action on this matter.

Alongside the push for a NIPER, the IPGA has called on the government to designate a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for pharmaceutical industries in Odisha, aiming to draw in pharma companies from other states.

AIIMS Overemphasis: Pharma Sector’s Discontent

In a memorandum addressed to the state health minister, Prof Anjan Kumar Mohapatra, a former president of the state unit of the Pharmacy Teachers Association (APTI) and current treasurer of the Utkal IPGA, commented that pharmacy education in the state has a 50-year history.

He argued that this makes Odisha a prime candidate for a NIPER and urged that the matter be brought to the attention of the Central government.

Prof Mohapatra also noted in his letter that no government to date has initiated the establishment of a degree college in the government sector in Odisha.

Copies of letters sent to the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers were attached to the memorandum.

Expressing disappointment, Mahapatra stated that the government’s focus has been overly concentrated on demanding AIIMS and Nursing Colleges, with little interest shown in opening a NIPER.

Moreover, he stressed the necessity for the state to have a centrally sponsored institution for pharmacy education. As a result, the IPGA has resolved to apply pressure on the government to advance the pharma sector and pharmacy education.

Odisha’s Pharma Paradox

Odisha, despite being a major consumer of medicines, relies heavily on other states to meet its pharmaceutical needs, mentioned the former APTI president.

In contrast, the state is a significant contributor to the national pool of pharmacy diploma holders and graduates.

Pharmacy students in Odisha often travel to North India for industry training. Currently, over 55 private institutions in the state offer degree and diploma courses in pharmacy, he continued.

Discussing the diploma course, Prof Mohapatra revealed that only two state-run institutions offer the D Pharm course. One is affiliated with the SCB Medical College at Cuttack, and the other is part of the Women Polytechnic Institute in Bhubaneswar.

He alleged that the government’s lackadaisical attitude is the reason for the zero status of public institutions for pharmaceutical sciences in Odisha.

Reportedly, leaders of the Utkal IPGA intend to meet the CM to highlight the dire state of pharmacy education in Odisha.

Ahead of the East Zonal Meeting of the APTI, scheduled for September this year in Bhubaneswar, they plan to stress the need for a NIPER and a SEZ for the pharma industry.

Prof Mohapatra anticipates that the east zonal meeting of the teachers association will be a significant event in East India, with the IPGA playing an active role.


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