Madurai

Madurai still waiting for its promised NIPER

Of the six places in India where it was planned in 2011, all other places have it functioning

Members of Parliament from Tamil Nadu are kick-starting a discussion on establishment of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Madurai, a proposal which was approved in 2011 but set aside.

Madurai MP Su. Venkatesan, along with Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder and MP Vaiko, submitted a letter to Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda on November 20 to commission the institute which was to be established in the 15th Finance Commission period of 2020-2025, after the issue was raised twice in 2013 and 2018.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Venkatesan expressed dismay over the project being shelved for eight years despite the Central government handing over 116 acres of land near Thirumohur.

“When discussions for establishing NIPER institutions across the country first arose in 2011 during the 8th Finance Commission meeting in January 2011, six locations, including Madurai, were chosen. In the five other locations - Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Hajipur, Kolkata, Mohali and Lucknow - the institute is functioning in full swing. But no word has been uttered about the Madurai project yet despite a ₹1,100-crore proposal was submitted to Ministry of Finance for setting up the infrastructure since the land was handed over,” he said.

According to its official website, NIPER offers masters and doctoral level courses in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences and conducts programmes on drug surveillance, including study of sociological aspects of drug use and abuse.

15 courses on offer

On offer are 15 courses, including Medical Chemistry, Natural Products, Traditional Medicine, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmaceutics, Biotechnology, Clinical Research, Pharmaceutical Technology and Pharmaceutical Management.

Establishment of such an institute will make Madurai a medical hub, says Mr. Venkatesan.

To fast-track the process of establishing it, DMK MP Kanimozhi, who is the chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers, has raised the issue last week, say sources.

MKU, a temporary home

Mr. Venkatesan says the aim is to ensure that the admission process begins latest by 2020 so that the institute can function with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) planned for Madurai. “I have approached Madurai Kamaraj University to allow functioning of NIPER on its campus for the first three years till it gets its own campus,” he says. Vice Chancellor M. Krishnan said the administration has received the request and will be presented to the syndicate in the next meeting. “NIPER in Madurai will certainly boost research activities and the university too can offer collaboration,” Mr. Krishnan said.

Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Indsutry’s senior president S. Rethinavelu said that if the institute was established, many people will come forward to invest in medical manufacturing sector as there will be experts at hand. “Currently Maharashtra and Gujarat are the leaders. Though there are small-scale manufacturers here, this sector will witness a boom,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 9:49:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/madurai-still-waiting-for-its-promised-niper/article30073759.ece

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