Students at Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University (Photo: Arun Thakur)
DELHI PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES AND RESEARCH UNIVERSITY (DPSRU) is the first pharma university in India. The Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research (DIPSAR) became a full-fledged university in 2004 and came to be known as DPSRU. Of course, DIPSAR has been around since 1964 and started out with its DPharm degree course in polytechnic back then, but in 1972 it became a college of pharmacy.
The DPSRU campus is spread over 10.36 acres. Currently, it has around 2,600 students, 90 faculty members and 136 support staff, offering four certificate courses, three diplomas, seven undergraduate courses, 24 postgraduate courses and eight doctoral programmes. The university is planning to start two new courses—BSc (Nursing) and BSc in Biomedical Sciences. It has advanced facilities to promote comprehensive teaching and learning and conduct research to cater to various sectors of the industry. The university also has a strong research and innovation footing. There are six faculty members currently on the list of the top 2 per cent scientists in the world published by Stanford University. In a recent list published in PLOS Biology, 12 faculty members of DPSRU are on the list of top scientists in the world. The faculty publishes a large number of papers in high-impact journals.
In addition to publications of research papers and books and filing of patents, there is deep dive into innovation and honing the entrepreneurial spirit. The university has nurtured 18 startups with several products in the market, such as Ezypro, a nutraceutical drink to provide essential amino acids and minerals, and the CoroQuil-Zn, perhaps the first herbal drug in the world targeting the ACE-2 receptor for SARS-COV-2, the main culprit for complications in Covid-19 patients.
In terms of research facilities, DPSRU has an enviable range. Besides a unique ocular pharmacology lab, clinical research wing, herbal technology department and nanotechnology centres, it has harboured a BioNest Bioincubator Centre, a Precision Pharmacy and Medicine Centre and the Centre for Advanced Formulation Technologies. This has enabled the institution to establish linkages with industries. Currently, the university has more than 35 MoUs signed with government institutions and the pharmaceutical industry. It has tie-ups with countries like the UK, the West Indian nations, Portugal, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and China.
A holistic approach to pharmaceutical and allied health sciences is benefiting students during campus placements. In the current year, 70 students qualified in the national competitive examination, GPAT—both the first and the fourth all-India ranks were grabbed by our students. We now have 123 PhD students and one-third of the government scholarships through agencies like ICMR, DST and CSIR, and an equal number having research fellowships from DRDO, THISTI, IPC and the pharmaceutical industry.
DPSRU aims to cultivate the spirit of embracing internationalism, diversity and competitiveness among students so that creative ideas are harnessed, leading to discoveries and inventions.