The Central government passed an ordinance to replace the Medical Council of India — the national medical education regulator. The MCI will be replaced by the board of governors (BoG) comprising some of India’s best-known government doctors.
The ordinance declares that BoG will run the MCI till the time a Bill is passed by Parliament to replace the body with a new commission. A Bill which seeks to replace MCI with National Medical Commission is pending in Parliament.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “The Cabinet cleared the ordinance in the morning and the President has given his assent,” adding “Now this committee of most eminent doctors in the country will run the MCI.” He cleared that everything done by MCI would be cross-checked by the BoG team.
The Board of Governor’s team which will head MCI consists of NITI Aayog member V K Paul, AIIMS, Delhi director Randeep Guleria, Nikhil Tandon, professor, AIIMS Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, PGIMER, Chandigarh director Jagat Ram and NIMHANS, Bangalore director B N Gangadhar.
The officials informed that Director general health services S Venkatesh and director general ICMR Balram Bhargava will be the ex-officio members and all members are highly qualified and are from ‘apolitical’ background.
The BoG will work till a Council is constituted. In 2010, a similar Board of Governors was appointed to function.
In 2016, Apex court ordered the Centre to set up an oversight committee with the authority to oversee all statutory functions of the MCI until a new council is made.
Many members of MCI have been accused of accepting bribes to fast-track accreditation.
The Centre appointed an oversight committee in 2017 after getting an approval of the top court. It was chaired by Dr V K Paul and had experienced doctors from AIIMS (Delhi), PGI Chandigarh and NIMHANS. But the committee resigned in July this year accusing MCI for not following instructions and for challenging its authority.