PCP’s conditional offer to register QAU pharmacy dept puts varsity admin in quandary

  • VC says he is hopeful of positive outcomes

ISLAMABAD: The Pharmacy Council of Pakistan’s (PCP) conditional offer to register Quaid-e-Azam University’s (QAU) department of pharmacy for two years is in doldrums as the university management has neither refused the offer nor accepted it, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The PCP offered to register QAU’s pharmacy department for two years provided that the university paid Rs2.8 million as a penalty and is ready to conduct pre-registration examination for first two batches of the Pharmacy-D programme, which was done without getting a no objection certificate (NOC) from the council.

A senior official at the university told Pakistan Today that though the PCP showed the willingness to register pharmacy department, it ironically imposed strange conditions. The official said that the council had registered pharmacy departments of the institutes being run in small buildings, but ironically, it showed willingness for registration of the pharmacy department of the country’s top-ranked university [QAU] upon fulfilling certain conditions.

Around 200 students have been enrolled in Pharmacy-D programme since its establishment back in 2011, as the university was running the postgraduate programme without the approval of the council. The penalty fee has been set according to the tuition fee of each student and the PCP has offered the accreditation for two years only if the conditions are fulfilled.

The official further said that if the students, who completed their degrees two years ago, failed in the pre-examination tests by PCP then who will compensate for their seven years loss and the money they spent on the degree. Therefore, he said that the condition of paying a penalty is not that serious, but the council should revisit the condition of a pre-examination test of first two batches of the Pharmacy-D programme.

The PCP appreciated the steps taken by the university administration but even then it conditioned the recognition with penalties and pre-registration examination of the students, which will be taken by the council after the payment of penalty fee.

It is pertinent to mention here that the non-registration of the department offering five-year doctorate and MPhil programmes has caused severe problems for the students who face difficulties, especially while applying for public-sector jobs. Besides that, they cannot open a pharmacy shop because they don’t have a pharmacist license, which is a compulsory certificate.

When approached, QAU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Javed Ashraf he termed the PCP offer a welcome move and expressed optimism that the matter of recognition of the pharmacy department will be settled.

To a question about the hard conditions, he hoped that the matter would be resolved. He, however, didn’t clearly state whether the university would convince the PCP to withdraw the conditions, or the university would not accept the offer if the PCP does not budge.