Setting the stage for an overhaul of medical education in India, a panel headed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya is likely to recommend scrapping of the 82-year-old Medical Council of India...
Setting the stage for an overhaul of medical education in India, a panel headed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya is likely to recommend scrapping of the 82-year-old Medical Council of India (MCI) and replace it with a National Medical Commission (NMC).
The NMC is likely to have four independent boards to oversee undergraduate courses, postgraduate courses, accreditation of colleges, and medical ethics, said sources privy to the preliminary draft report on the subject. The new regulatory body will be advised by a Medical Advisory Council which will have representation from each state.
The other members of the Panagariya-led panel, which is drafting a legislation that will replace the MCI Act, 1956, are Prime Minister’s additional principal secretary PK Mishra, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and health secretary Bhanu Pratap Sharma.
“The new regulatory structure for medical education will put an end to ‘licence raj’ and corruption in the system,” an official said.
To ensure that medical colleges produce quality doctors, the panel is mulling introducing exit examination system for students after completion of their courses to ensure only eligible get to practise.
The Commission would be run by eminent persons selected by the government from the medical fraternity as against the current electoral system in MCI, which is widely blamed for corruption. A high-powered search and selection committee would select the chairperson and others members of the 20-member Commission. The four boards would be given autonomy in their respective domains with an aim to bridge shortages of skilled health professionals and the growing demand for quality healthcare.
MCI is going through an image crisis after its former president Ketan Desai was arrested in 2010 by the CBI in a bribery case. The bribe was allegedly intended to grant permission to a college to enrol students.
The panel is expected to submit a draft legislation to replace the MCI Act later this year that would simplify norms, promote performance-based regulation and aims to put an end to unethical practice adopted by influential politicians to set up medical colleges.
After MCI, the government is mulling similar reforms in University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), among others, to reform the education sector.