World Pharmacists Day 2022: India’s first pharmacy college was in Goa

Goa may be sought after for sun, sand and feni, but it is also home to the first college of pharmaceutical learning in Asia, which is close to two centuries old
The Goa College of Pharmacy is located in Panjim
The Goa College of Pharmacy is located in PanjimGomantak Times

When the Portuguese came to Goa, so did many of their cultural elements. But, that’s not all. Back in those days, they were also involved in pharmaceutical research.

The renowned Portuguese physician, herbalist and naturalist, Garcia de Orta, was a pioneer of tropical medicine, pharmacognosy and ethnobotany. His best known work, Colóquios dos simples e drogas da India, was published in 1563, and is the earliest treatise on the medicinal and economic plants of India.

 With a view to imparting education in the field of pharmacology, the Portuguese set up a pharmacy college in Panjim, Goa, which was also the first pharmacy college in Asia. Much later, in 1932, Prof Mahadev Lal Schroff (the Father of Pharmacy Education in India) started a pharmacy college/department at the Banaras Hindu University, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The Goa College of Pharmacy is located in Panjim
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In November 1842, the Portuguese introduced the first pharmacy course (course Farmacèuticos), along with a medical course, at the old Portuguese medical school, Escolar Médica de Goa (later re-named Escola Medico de Cirùrgica de Goa). Pharmacists (farmacèuticos) and doctors (medico cirùrgioes) received education and training in the same medical school and enjoyed an almost equal status in Goa at the time.

 Apart from education, a few periodicals in the field of pharmacy, were also regularly published in Goa. In 1860, a monthly pharmacy journal, Archivo de Pharmacia e Science Accessories da India Portuguesa, was launched, and it was edited by Antonio Gomes Roberto. Although it contained a wealth of information on medicinal plants and was the first pharmaceutical journal in Asia, it closed down a few years later, in 1871.

 The publication of Archivo Medico da India began in 1894, and it was a monthly journal of medical and pharmacopic science, which was edited by Pantaleao Ferrao of Bastora. It, too, imparted knowledge about medicinal plants, but was very short-lived and shut down in 1896.

The Goa College of Pharmacy is located in Panjim
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 In 1963, shortly after Liberation, the institute was renamed to Goa College of Pharmacy and it was shifted to its present location (a former Portuguese technical school) in St Inez, Panjim. The pharmacy course also received a modern upgrade to a full-fledged degree course of BPharm, under Bombay University.

Later, in 1970, the college began a Master’s degree course in Pharmacy. Since 1985, the college has been affiliated to Goa University and run by the Government of Goa. It has also been  approved by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi.

The college has been continuously upgrading its courses. A post graduate course in Pharmacology was introduced in 2003, while a post graduate course in Pharmacognosy was added to the Master’s Degree Program a few years later, in 2010.

In 2004, the Goa College of Pharmacy was selected as a Replication Institute under the Canada India Institute Industry Linkage Project (CIIILP), and currently, the institute offers PCI/AICTE approved courses in pharmaceutical technology.

In addition to that, the college is also one of the finest in the country having ranked 47th among all the pharmacy colleges in India by the National Institute of Ranking Framework (NIRF) under the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India, for the year 2019-20.

The Goa College of Pharmacy is located in Panjim
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The college has a variety of facilities including hostel accommodation, an auditorium, a well-equipped library (which includes national and international journals, and Sci-Finder access for study papers), several labs with state-of-the-art instrumentation, sports facilities and placement options, among other things.

NAME: Goa College of Pharmacy

LOCATION: St Inez, Panjim

CONTACT: +91 9871691084

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