The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Niper) is the first national level pharmacy institute that aims to become a centre of excellence for advanced studies and research in the subject. The institute is an autonomous body set up under the aegis of the Union ministry of chemicals and fertilisers about 250km north of Delhi at SAS Nagar in Mohali, Punjab, on a total area of 130 acres.
Apart from MPharm, Niper also offers MS Pharm, MTech Pharm and MBA Pharm. In 2007, four more Nipers were set up in Ahmedabad, Hajipur, Hyderabad and Calcutta.
The Niper at SAS Nagar has a dedicated training and placement cell which maintains excellent contacts with the pharmaceutical industry and assists in the placement of students. Major companies which visited the campus in 2007-08 are Cognizent, Pharm Arc Solutions, Dr Reddy’s, Ranbaxy, Novadarsic, Cadila, eli lilly, Dabur, Nicholas-Piramal, Torrent, Sun Pharmaceutical, Syngene International, Promed, Claris Life Sciences, Macleods Pharmaceuticals, Strand Life Sciences, Heron Evidence Development Ltd, Smart Analysis, Wockhardt, Zydus, Venus Remedies, IndSwift Lab, Evalueserve, Ipca, Intas, Kinapse, 3G solutions, IMS-ORG and many more. The institutes at Ahmedabad, Hajipur, Hyderabad and Calcutta are also in the process of establishing placement cells to help students.
The notification is published in March in all major newspapers as well as on the website (www.niper.nic.in). The information brochure- cum-application-form can be obtained in person or by post from the office of the organising chairperson, NIPER-JEE, by submitting a non-refundable demand draft worth Rs 1,000 (Rs 500 for SC / ST). The draft should be in favour of NIPER-JEE and be payable at SAS Nagar (Mohali) or Chandigarh. Those wanting the form by post should enclose two self-addressed slips (10cm x 6cm) along with the draft. They should also clearly mention the name of the programme in the application and on the top of the envelope carrying the request letter.
Indian nationals residing abroad as well as foreign nationals have to remit $100 by bank draft payable to NIPER-JEE.
Completed applications should be sent to the organising chairperson, NIPER Joint Entrance Examination (NIPER-JEE), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Sector 67, SAS Nagar, Mohali-160062, Punjab, by April 28 of the year of admission.
Those seeking admission to MPharm, should have completed BPharm. Candidates applying for the MS Pharm programme should have completed BPharm or MSc in organic chemistry or life sciences. For the MBA Pharm programme, aspirants should have completed either BPharm, BTech in chemical engineering (or equivalent) or MSc in chemical or life sciences.
Applicants should have passed the qualifying degree with a minimum of 60 per cent in aggregate or a CGPA of 6.75 on a 10 point scale. In addition, all candidates should have qualified GATE or NET.
There is a common entrance test in June for all the masters programmes including MBA Pharm. The test is conducted at centres in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Calcutta, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna and Pune.
Pattern of exam
The two-hour test consists of 200 objective-type questions. The questions are mostly from the BPharm or MSc course. The exam assesses your knowledge of life sciences, organic chemistry, biotechnology and general intelligence.
How to prepare
Candidates would find the following books of great use: Wilson and Giswold’s Textbook of Organic Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Burger’s Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery, edited by Manfred E. Wolff and published by John Wiley Sons Inc. New York; Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 4, edited by C. Hansch and published by Pergamon, New York; Comprehensive Biotechnology, edited by Murray Moo-Young and T.K. Chakravarty’s Herbal Options. Students would also find the information publications of the National Centre for Biotechnology (www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) of great use.