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IPA seeks health ministry nod for B Pharm as qualification for FSO, analyst

29,September, 2015

Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) has suggested to the ministry of health and family welfare to include B Pharm graduation as a qualification for recruitment as food safety officer and food analyst under the Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011.
This is in response to the comments sought by the ministry of health and family welfare on the proposed amendments of the Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011. In fact, the association had already represented vide letters No. IPA/110/164 dated August 25, 2014, and IPA/110/215 dated December 29,2014.
The association in its third reply vide IPA/110/355 dated September 22,2015, to the ministry stated Rule 2.1.3 of the FSS Rules 2011 prescribed, food safety officer should be a whole-time officer and with a degree in food technology or dairy technology or biotechnology or oil technology or agricultural science. A second option provided is for graduates in veterinary science or biochemistry or microbiology or master’s degree in chemistry or degree in medicine from a recognised university. The third preference is for any equivalent and recognised qualification notified by the Central government. In the fourth option, the government called for a successful completion of training as specified by the food authority in a recognised institute approved for the purpose.
Rule 2.1.4 of FSS Rules 2011, prescribed that a person cannot be qualified for appointment without a  master’s degree in chemistry or biochemistry or microbiology or dairy chemistry or food technology, food and nutrition. Alternatively, the candidate could hold a bachelor’s degree of technology in dairy /oil or hold a degree in veterinary sciences from an established university or is an associate of the Institution of Chemists (India) by examination in the section of food analysts notified by the Central government.
“We are surprised that a host of personnel having various qualifications in science, medicine, agriculture, biotechnology and even the associate of the Institution of Chemists are qualified for the post but unfortunately B Pharm graduates have not found a place in it,” stated Kaushik Desai, honorary general secretary, Indian Pharmaceutical Association, in his communication to ministry of health.
When going through the nature of the job, B Pharm graduates are the best suited for the posts due to the subjects that they study in the curriculum of their four years of education. B Pharm candidates develop adequate specialised skills to perform the job specified in both the posts. Further B Pharm degree includes pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutical technology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmaceutical analysis, instrument analysis, pharmaceutical engineering, pharmacology,and toxicology which cover the total aspects of the specified jobs in the two posts. The manufacture of food items, its packaging and analysis are similar to drugs and pharmaceuticals, according to him. 
“Hence B Pharm, by virtue of its curriculum content and training becomes one of the best suited qualifications for performing the duties of a food safety officer and food analyst. Moreover, these candidates have shown their competence in these areas in the past. Therefore, the injustice meted out to B Pharm can be readdressed by including B Pharm and M Pharm as one of the qualifications by amending Rule 2.1.3 and 2,1.4 of the FSS Rules 2011,” pointed out Desai.

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