Thousands of Diploma in Pharmacy Students in the J&K UT face an Uncertain Future

Pharmacists and students protesting to demand justice to the Diploma In pharmacy degree holders

Pharmacists and students protesting to demand justice to the Diploma In pharmacy degree holders

Followed by the abolition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the J&K Pharmacy Act was abolished under the J&K Reorganization Act-2019. Several autonomous bodies of different departments and organizations ceased to exist since then, including the J&K State Pharmacy Council. 

As per a report published by Greater Kashmir, thousands of students pursuing a Diploma in pharmacy face an uncertain future. Earlier, a student holding Diploma in Pharmacy was eligible under the State Act to work as a junior medical assistant and get a license for opening a chemist shop in the state. But, after the abolition of article 370, the Central Pharmacy Act permits only B-Pharmacy (Graduation) degree holders to open a chemist shop. Due to this, several individuals who have a valid Diploma in Pharmacy are out of a job. Students enrolled in the same also face an uncertain future.  

A delegation of students recently interacted with journalists. They pointed out that thousands of students are currently pursuing a Diploma in Pharmacy. 

They have written to the Indian Pharmacy Council as well as the J & K administration and highlighted their concerns. The Council responded by saying that they can’t do anything unless the UT administration doesn’t make any decision. The students have frequently been protesting for the past two months seeking government and Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu’s help in saving their careers.

Pharmacist Sajad Ahmad Chopan in his medical store in Tral Pulwama

Pharmacist Sajad Ahmad Chopan in his medical store in Tral Pulwama

The Stories of Change recently published a report highlighting that over 30,000 pharmacists are rendered jobless, one of them is Sajad Ahmed Chopan(32), an existing pharmacist. Chopan said that he is very concerned about his future since the government refused to renew the license for all the druggists and chemists who do not have a B-Pharmacy Degree. Chopan is the only breadwinner for his family and has a brother and sister who are yet to be married. Another pharmacist Gulzar Ahmad Khan, who interacted with reporters, also called out other pharmacists to seek the government’s response. The Jammu and Kashmir Chemists and Druggists Association has suggested that the license holders be given at least three years of breathing time to qualify for holding a license under the Drug Act 1948.

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