LUCKNOW There has been a noticeable decline in the number of applicants for BPharma courses in colleges affiliated with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) this year. Despite having over 31,000 seats available across approximately 390 pharmacy colleges, only 3,524 eligible candidates have completed the admission formalities through counselling.
Consequently, more than 24,000 BPharma seats remain unoccupied. Colleges are resorting to direct admissions, a practice typically seen in engineering courses, to fill these vacancies. This year, AKTU initiated the admission process later than usual, commencing in September due to technical issues, as the university failed to comply with AICTE rules.
Mahesh Kumar Agarwal, chairman of Goel Institute, expressed his concerns, stating, “Out of the 100 BPharma seats available in our two colleges, we have managed to secure only 20 admissions. This is primarily due to the delayed admission process by AKTU. Now, we must strive to fill these vacant seats through direct, on-the-spot admissions, which may prove challenging in October.”
Sunil Jhunjhunwala of Sagar Institute of Technology and Management in Barabanki reported, “Through direct admissions, we have secured only 2 students out of 100 BPharma seats. We are currently exploring alternative methods to fill these unoccupied seats.”
“At Ambikeshwar Institute, the situation is no different,” said RP Pandey, the college’s chairman. Several colleges are struggling, with some not having enrolled a single student in the first year so far. This dire situation is a consequence of AKTU’s delayed admission process, which has led students to seek opportunities in other private universities and neighbouring states.
In the 2017-18 session, there were 104 pharmacy colleges affiliated with AKTU. By the 2022-23 session, this number had surged to nearly 400, with a combined total of 31,000 seats. Colleges are now urging AKTU to allow them more flexibility in filling these seats right from the start, rather than imposing delays and subsequently instructing colleges to conduct on-the-spot counselling to fill vacant positions.