For the students in India who wish to dominate the health sector of this country, which is primed to facilitate a majority of the global medical and pharmaceutical requirements of the coming decades, one needs look no further than an institute in Mumbai which is carving a niche for itself as a premier institute pioneering in integrated pharmacy, management education and research. It is none other than the Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management.
Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management (SPPSPTM) was started in 2006 under the umbrella of SVKM’s NMIMS (Deemed to be University) with a vision to develop a cadre of employable pharmacy professionals who will impact global healthcare system. Since inception, the school’s focus has been on quality education and research in current trends in pharmaceutical sciences and technology management.
In the last 14 years, SPPSPTM has made magnanimous contribution in the field of pharmaceutical education and research. The school has won various awards such as ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award’ by Government of India, ‘Best Institute in Pharmacy Award’ by DNA Innovative Education etc., for its excellent practices in pharma education.
SPPSPTM has been ranked 13 amongst all the pharmacy Schools in the country as per National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2020, India. The school has received Platinum rating in AICTE- CII survey of industry-linked technical institutes 2020.
Students from various regions are selected on the basis of their performance in the national level entrance examination conducted by the university. A strong emphasis on quality and industry readiness is inculcated in the students by award winning and experienced full-time and visiting faculty who bring a rich variety of experience and knowledge from the world of academia and industry.
SPPSPTM is located in Vile Parle (West), a well-known suburban area of Mumbai. SPPSTM has excellent infrastructure which helps students in learning various domains of pharmaceutical sciences. The school has fully airconditioned classrooms equipped with smartboards for interactive learning. Laboratories equipped with latest instruments like LC-MS/MS, NMR, flash chromatography etc. help students acquire technical skills, hands on training and to carry out quality research in the area of nanotechnology, formulations, pharmaceutical analysis, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry.
SPPSPTM has well established cell culture laboratory, animal facility, pilot plant, medicinal garden and central instrumentation laboratory in place. The school has excellent library facility which has around 4500+ books, 85+ e-journals and official publications such as Pharmacopoeias. The students and faculty use a common digital platform called ‘student portal’ for all the academic activities such as sharing study material, assignments, examinations, assessment etc.
To develop an excellent pharmacy school focusing on research in current trends in pharmaceutical sciences and technology management and educate with a view to impact global healthcare system and thus develop a cadre of employable pharmacy professionals.
To produce self-motivated, self-reliant and socially sensitive young pharmacists catering to the needs of industry, academia and research; to create a centre of excellence for R&D in the field of pharmaceutical sciences with inter-disciplinary approach with focus on industry-academia interaction and cooperation at national and international level; to interlink pharmaceutical sciences with life sciences and management education and to provide lifelong learning opportunities.
Quality, excellence, teamwork, and innovation.
The Fervent Leader and Veteran Educator
Dr Bala Prabhakar, Dean of SVKM’s NMIMS, Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management, Mumbai, has been in the teaching profession for more than 36 years with 18 years in academic administration. She is associated with SPPSPTM since last 14 years and has made major contributions in the growth and progress of the school.
She has successfully guided 12 PhD scholars, and four candidates are working under her supervision. She has presented more than 68 research papers at national and international conferences and published 79 research papers and articles in journals of repute. Additionally, she has authored two pharmacy books, has one Indian patent granted to her credit and eight provisional patents filed.
She is the proud recipient of the ‘Best Dean Award’ by National Education Awards 2018 by ABP News, ‘50 Women in Education Leaders 2017’ by World Education Congress, ‘101 Fabulous Global Healthcare Leaders’ Award, and the ‘Distinguished Alumni Award’ for the year 2007 by SNDT Women’s University.
Under her leadership, the school has reached many milestones, remarkable NIRF ranking being one of them.
She is a life member of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association, Indian Society for Technical Education, Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India, International Congress of Chemistry & Environment, Pharmacists Organization for Women Empowerment and Research (POWER), and a member of Dean’s Forum, FIP.
She is involved in constant communication with all stakeholders. She is Chairman of the Board of studies of pharma and management, member of Board of management and Planning and Monitoring Board of SVKM’s NMIMS. She is a member of various committees of AICTE, NBA, and PCI at the national level.
SPPSPTM believes in conceptual learning and applying concepts to develop potential solutions to cater to the unmet needs in healthcare. The curriculum design, pedagogy and assessment tools employed are all oriented towards holistic development of an array of skills in the students such as technical knowledge, problem-solving, critical analysis, creative thinking and application-based learning.
Students are always encouraged to take part in various cocurricular activities like Hackathon, Industry Defined Problems, and other such competitions where they pitch their ideas and contribute towards solving real world problems. Faculty, in addition to the syllabus, discuss the concepts with students in a manner that links the concepts to other allied subjects in the field thereby helping students to understand the complete utility of the concept in real world. Students are encouraged to think, reason, analyse, question, and come up with innovative ideas.
SPPSPTM has always emphasized on overall development of students. Students acquire various skills related to thinking and planning, leadership, and communication with the help of activities such as presentations, group discussions etc. Teaching value added courses is one of the unique features which helps students gain knowledge in specific areas required for their careers. Students are also involved in activities which develop societal responsibility, awareness of environment related issues etc.
Interactive and collaborative learning is an integral part of the teaching learning process. Students get training for handling advanced instruments during their regular practical sessions and through specially organized workshops. This helps them to design and complete research projects in the area of interest. The school organizes guest lectures and discussions with stalwarts in pharmaceutical industry for updating students with respect to recent trends.
The school is a pioneer in starting a five-year dual degree programme MBA (Pharma. Tech.) in which the students receive B. Pharm degree and MBA degree in pharmaceutical technology after successful completion of the programme.
MBA (Pharma. Tech.) is an integrated programme specially designed for 10 + 2 students, who wish to develop managerial skills in pharmacy. The course is meticulously designed to suit the needs of Pharma industry. This also saves one academic year and the struggle for admission to top B-schools after graduation in pharmacy.
SPPSPTM also offers three years ‘M. Pharm.+ MBA’, an integrated programme spread over six semesters, leading to Master of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration, MBA (Pharma Tech & Healthcare Management). The candidate will acquire two postgraduate degrees – one in technical field (research) and second in managerial skills in Pharma field. This also saves one academic year.
The institute also offers four-year B. Pharm. programme and two-year Diploma in Pharmacy programme. The programmes are designed as per the regulations of Pharmacy Council of India. These programmes focus on skill building of students to render their services in hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy and various levels in the pharma industry.
All the pharmacy programmes have received the approval from Pharmacy Council of India.
The school also offers PhD programme focusing on cutting edge research in various domains of pharmaceutical sciences. It is a 4-6-years programme consisting of one year pre-PhD course work, followed by research. The curriculums of all programmes are developed after receiving inputs from stakeholders, namely, students, alumni, recruiters and faculty curated by Board of Studies which consists of experts in academia and pharmaceutical industry. Each curriculum is dynamic and is revisited regularly based on the needs of pharma industry.
The school has a separate placement cell which arranges mock interviews to help students prepare for the process of campus recruitment. The faculty emphasizes on teaching additional points during curriculum delivery for preparing students for entrance examinations for higher studies. Interaction with alumni and guest lectures are regularly arranged to discuss current developments in the pharma field to help in selecting the domain for their career.
The New Normal
Education is one of the most affected fields due to Covid-19 pandemic. Within no time the school adapted to this situation; with the help of available IT support from the university, the classes are conducted in online mode. It maintained the momentum and continuity of all academic activities with the help of online tools.
Special training was organized for faculty members for using the digital platforms for course delivery. Practical component is an important part in all pharma programmes. Covid situation severely affected this component as students could not visit the campus due to restrictions. The school started with ‘Instructions and demonstration’ sessions for students which include demonstrations of the experiments performed by the faculty in the laboratory. This helped students to understand the practicals in a better way.
The students will be performing these experiments when the situation normalizes.
The university is now looking forward to implementing the Assurance of Learning (AoL) process across all its schools. This AoL process will enable continuous monitoring and enrichment of the programme to ensure that the students have achieved the set goals.