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Cabinet approves bill for supersession of Indian Medical Council

PTI Jun 13, 2019

The Union Cabinet on June 12 approved a bill for supersession of the Indian Medical Council for a period of two years during which the board of governors will run the scam-tainted regulatory body for medical education.

The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was approved at a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to replace the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance through an act of Parliament. The bill will be introduced in the upcoming session of Parliament.

The move will ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country, an official statement said. During this period, the board of governors (BoG) shall exercise the powers and functions of MCI as assigned under the IMC Act, 1956.

The number of members in the BoG will be increased from existing 7 to 12, the statement stated. The Ministry of Health had come across certain arbitrary action by MCI in disregard to the provisions of the IMC Act and regulations made thereunder. Further, the Oversight Committee constituted by the Supreme Court to oversee the functioning of MCI had also cited instances of non-compliance of their instructions and subsequently, all members of the Oversight Committee tendered their resignation.

"In view of these developments, and to put an alternative mechanism in place of MCI so as to bring transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country, it was decided to supersede the MCI through the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 promulgated on September 26 and entrust its affairs to a BoG consisting of eminent doctors. 

"Subsequently, a replacement bill of the said ordinance namely, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 14, 2018 and passed on December 31 by the House," the statement stated. However, the Bill could not be taken up for consideration in the Rajya Sabha. 

Accordingly, it was decided to promulgate a fresh ordinance namely the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 to allow the BoG appointed in supersession of MCI to continue to exercise the powers of MCI and that of central government so that the work already done by the BoG according to the provisions of the earlier ordinance is validated and may continue, the statement said.

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