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News Analysis

Governance

NIPER Amendment Bill, 2021

  • 11 Dec 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, Rajya Sabha passed the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research(NIPER) Amendment Bill, 2021.

Key Points

  • About the Bill:
    • Status of Institute of National Importance:
      • It seeks to accord the status of ‘institute of national importance’ to six more institutes of pharmaceutical education and research institutes – NIPERs – situated in Ahmedabad, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati and Raebareli.
    • Establishment of Advisory council:
      • The council will be a central body, to coordinate the activities of all the institutes to ensure coordinated development of pharmaceutical education and research and maintenance of standards.
      • The functions of the council include:
        • Advising on matters related to course duration, formulating policies for recruitment, examining and approving development plans of the institutes, examining annual budget estimates of the institutes for recommendations to the central government for allocation of funds.
    • Rationalizes the Board of Governors:
      • The Bill rationalises the Board of Governors of each NIPER from its existing strength of 23 to 12 members and widens the scope and number of courses run by the institutes.
  • Significance:
    • The NIPERs would be governed on the lines of the IITs.
    • NIPERs will help in research that could bring more patents for India, which in turn, would mean the nation can produce high-cost pharmaceuticals.
  • Issues with the Bill:
    • State governments along with Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989 (SC/ST Act), OBC and women have not been included in the apex council of the NIPERs.
    • Issues like autonomy and over-centralisation of power have also been raised.
      • It has been said that the proposed council has been empowered with excessive powers with regard to financial, administrative and managerial matters of these institutes, which has to be looked into very carefully.
      • The Bill potentially compromises the institutes’ autonomy as the council will mostly be composed of central government bureaucrats and some MPs, wherein it may take decisions that may not be in a particular institute’s best interest.

National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs)

  • They are the institutes of national importance under the aegis of the Department of Pharmaceutical, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
    • Any Institution of National Importance is an autonomous body/institute with the power to hold examinations and grant educational certificates/degrees.
      • They get funding from the central government.
  • The Institute is conceived to provide leadership in pharmaceutical sciences and related areas not only within the country, but also to the countries in SouthEast Asia, South Asia and Africa.
  • NIPER, Mohali is a member of Association of Indian Universities and Association of Commonwealth Universities.
    • Association of Indian Universities (AIU), formed in 1925 as Inter-University Board (IUB), is an association of all universities in India. It is actively engaged in the growth and development of higher education.
    • The Association of Commonwealth Universities is an international organisation dedicated to building a better world through higher education in over 50 countries across the Commonwealth.

Source: IE

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