Principal KM Kundnani College of Pharmacy: Excellence through Innovation
If Indias pharma industry is going global, it is thanks
to an ever increasing talent pool nurtured by academic institutes. In the first
of a series profiling such institutes, Viveka Roychowdhury profiles Principal
K M Kundnani College of Pharmacy, Mumbai
out of the resolve of one of the many refugees at the time of India's painful
Partition, Mumbai's Principal KM Kundnani College of Pharmacy (KMKCP) will complete
four decades next year.
The story goes that while other people were accumulating and protecting their
wealth and other valuables and running for their lives, the late Vidyasagar
Principal K.M. Kundnani, brought to India a different treasure: trunks of books
and 20 Carl-Zeiss microscopes! As the first Sindhi from Hyderabad, Sind to obtain
a Master of Science Degree in Physics, Principal Kundnani was already the principal
of a college, and he knew that education was the key to building up a community.
With a vision to start educational facilities for the deprived Sindhi refugee
community in India, Principal Kundnani along with legal luminary late Barrister
Hotchand G. Advani, founded the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board (HSNC)
in 1949. Like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, the Board today manages
27 institutions. In fact, the phoenix was selected as the mascot of KMKCP during
its Silver Jubilee function in 1996 and continues to inspire all those to pass
beneath its portals.
Keepers of the faith
Dr (Mrs) P M D' Mello
Principal K M Kundanani College of Pharmacy
Taking over the reins of the story, the present principal,
Dr (Mrs) P M D' Mello, relates that after setting up National College, KC College
then HR College (all in Mumbai), the Board set up KMKCP. "This college
first started at Ulhasnagar (a suburb in the north east of Mumbai) was then
shifted to Worli in 1982, and finally in 2005, we moved into an eight-storey
building in Cuffe Parade, South Mumbai," says D'Mello.
Today, the college counts among its alumni leading lights of the Indian pharmaceutical
industry like Glenn Saldanah, CEO, Glenmark Pharma; Madan Joshi, Managing Director,
Capsugel (a division of Pfizer), Aditi Kare Panandikar, Director, Business Development
& HRD, Indoco Remedies; Bankim Vakil, General Manager International, Blue
Cross Laboratories and many more.
According to D'Mello, the college has a very strong research focus, both at
post graduate (PG) and doctoral level. Of the faculty of 20, 13 are recognised
Post Graduate (PG) guides by the University of Mumbai, and six are PhD guides.
A class apart
Another feather in the cap of KMKCP is that it is one of the
very few pharmacy colleges to have a pilot plant with a capacity of more than
five kg on campus with machineries and equipments like tablet rotary press,
fluidised bed dryer, coating facilities, semi-solid dosage forms facilities
and many more.
Besides this, the college has a very sophisticated, up-to-date
central instrumentation centre with five HPLCs, HPTLC, Supercritical Fluid Extraction
Unit, DSC, besides the normal UV spectrophotometers, FTIR, etc. The college
has a separate Drug Design Laboratory with advanced software for computer assisted
These facilities understandably attract industry. Development
of modified release pharmaceuticals to meet better patient compliance, improved
bioavailability and minimised side effects, preclinical evaluation and dosage
form development for herbals, analytical method development and validation,
impurity profiling have always been the thrust area of the college as far as
industry collaborations are concerned. 'Excellence through innovation', the
motto of the college, seems to find practical expression at these laboratory
Giving more details, D'Mello says, "We do undertake
consultancy projects with pharma companies, dealing with analytical, pre-clinical
and toxicological studies, in the areas of phytochemistry, standardisation of
herbal drugs among others. We have also been involved in the scale up and transfer
of manufacturing technology to industries." This ensures that students
are directly exposed to industry activities. Current tie ups include the likes
of Charak Pharma, Solumiks and Vedic Lifesciences, informs D'Mello.
A few process patents have also been filed based on the work done at the college
and are in the process of review.
The college continues to attract strong industry support,
the latest being the contribution from Blue Cross Laboratories to set up a modern
auditorium facility in the college premises. The inaugural of the Smt Geeta
Israni Auditorium and the first Smt Geeta Israni Memorial Lecture, also served
to initiate the activities of the college's Drug Information Centre (DIC).
Delivering the first Smt Geeta Israni Memorial Lecture, Padmabhushan Dr R D
Lele, Director of Nuclear Medicine and RIA Department, Lilavati Hospital &
Research Centre, spoke on the "Importance of Computerised Prescriptions"
This theme, points out D'Mello, is close to the college administration's
core belief in the 'practice of pharmacy in presence of patients'. As she puts
it, community pharmacy is our end target. Because while the college continues
to take on industry consultancy projects thanks to its infrastructure (See box:
Fact File), D'Mello would like to her students to engage with the larger public
as early in their pharmacy training as possible. This will help them develop
a sense of responsibility towards the general population, because at the end
of the day, "Pharmacy is a Science for Humanity".
|Vision: To Become Centre Of Excellence Of
Pharmacy Education And Research, To Provide World Class Professionals And
To Serve Humanity At Large
Mission: To Provide Excellent Educational Environment With Dedicated
Faculty For Creating Quality Professionals In The Field Of Pharmacy Education,
Research, Industry, Hospital And Other Health Related Areas.
Established in: 1971
Accreditations: All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE),
New Delhi; Pharmacy Council of India, New Delhi and permanently affiliated
to the University of Mumbai. Under Graduate Course leading to the award
of the B.Pharm. degree by the University of Mumbai has been re-accredited
by the National Board Accreditation (NBA), New Delhi in the year 2009
Current premises: An area of approximately 4243 sq.mts. spread over
Dept. of Pharmaceutics
Dept. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Dept. of Pharmacognosy
Dept. of Pharmacology
Dept. of Pharmaceutical Analysis
Extracurricular activities: Community and Clinical Pharmacy Cell,
Rotaract Club, Nature Club, participation in Quiz competitions, Cultural
and Sports activities etc.
Student Exchange Programme (IPSF-SEP): Every year, two students are
deputed to travel abroad and take up selected summer training positions
organised by the International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (IPSF).
In exchange, students from these countries spend time in India, familiarising
themselves with healthcare systems here. For instance, in 2009, Pallav Shah
was an exchange student in Armenia, where he had the opportunity to train
at a community pharmacy of a Hungarian pharmacy, Gedeon Ritcher. He was
part of a group of students from places as diverse as the US, Egypt and
Hungary so he got to interact with and compare healthcare systems with all
these students. Similarly, Shekhar Rawtani got a chance to go to Hungary.
Senior faculty at KMKCP
Pilot plant facilities
The 300-odd students on campus are encouraged to participate
in outreach activities around this theme. The college has its own Rotaract Club,
which conducts health awareness drives, diabetes detection camps, and disease
awareness seminars. On visits to old age homes, students make the inmates aware
of the right way to take medication as they are under several medications and
this could lead to adverse drug reactions, etc. A recent trip to a rural backward
area made them aware of the severe lack of access to healthcare in such areas
and the importance of informing such populations on the basics of hygiene, simple
The newly formed DIC will take these activities forward with
seminars on Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs), drug interactions, issues regarding
drug use in pediatric and geriatric populations, as well as information on diseases
like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, where we need to understand not only
how to take medicines but also lifestyle changes.
The college is targeting disease conditions like Alzheimer's,
arthritis, and will focus on practical advice on the precautions to be taken,
what foods are to be avoided, etc. The DIC aims not just to reach out to the
college's pharmacy students but also to the community so that the community
can learn how to take care of themselves, says D'Mello.
Today, the pharma industry is no longer just about manufacturing medicines.
Improving patient compliance, access to medicines and better healthcare delivery
are also on the agenda. Thus students too need to keep pace with the newly emerging
focus areas and career choices.
In tune with this approach to pharmacy as a multidisciplinary science, KMKCP
conducts several short term add on courses/seminars to keep students updated
on emerging areas like regulatory guidelines for New Drug Applications (NDA),
patent filing procedures, clinical research, etc. Industry participation in
these seminars ensures more up-to-date learning and exposure to current trends
D'Mello informs that they have recently signed an MoU with Center for Clinical
Research and Training (CCRT), Mumbai, an organisation which specialises in custom-designed
short term educational courses and professional training programmes for medical,
dental, pharma and life sciences professionals and students in the areas of
clinical research, pharma management and related subjects.
The college counts on its very active alumni network to give their insights
to current students. Many alumni come back to give seminars on their areas of
specialisation, be it regulatory, clinical research, or intellectual property
(IP). These introductory courses give students an idea of the basics in these
topics so that they can decide if they have the aptitude to opt for them as
In addition, D'Mello reveals that the administration is intending
to set up a separate three month course on personality development and development
of soft skills to make students more industry ready.
|KMKCP has served as a stepping stone
to world class institutes for several students
|Current batch (2009-2010)
||Shivani Manghani and Aisha Mulla
||London School of Pharmacy for an MS
||University of Illinois, Chicago
||St. John's University, New York
||Northeastern University, Boston
||University of Cambridge
||Imperial College of London
Knowledge not enough, inculcate values
Quiz her on the changes that she has seen in the 27 years of her joining the
college, and D'Mello comments that besides the many changes in the industry,
the students have also changed. "Today we cannot afford to be merely teachers,
we have to be mentors," she stresses. "Teachers cannot merely impart
knowledge, but need to inculcate an ethical attitude and integrity. We don't
want our students to be mechanical robots. We want them to be sensitised human
beings, sensitive to the needs of society."
With such a philosophy guiding the college administration, there is no doubt
that KMKCP will continue to rise like the phoenix, turning every adversity into