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The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Key pointers:

  • According to the Bill, a 25-member commission selected by a search committee headed by the Union Cabinet Secretary will replace the elected MCI.
  • The Union Cabinet Friday cleared the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, ending the era of Medical Council of India (MCI) as the apex medical education regulator conducting annual inspections, and paving the way for an exit exam for medical graduates.
  • The move is based on recommendations of the Ranjit Roychowdhury Committee and a Parliamentary standing committee — both concluded that a regulator elected by the fraternity it would monitor cannot be effective.
  • Under the NMC, which includes a Medical Advisory Council where states will be represented, colleges need permission only once for establishment and recognition.
    Apart from removing the need for annual renewal of recognition, colleges can, on their own, increase the number of seats subject to the present cap of 250, and start PG courses.
    The Medical Assessment and Rating Board constituted by the central government can, however, conduct inspections.
  • Under the NMC Bill, if a college is found to be in violation of norms, such as those governing teachers, laboratories, patients, etc., it can be fined sums ranging from half of the cumulative fees it charges from students to 10 times that amount.
  • The ex-officio members of the NMC will include the director of AIIMS, New Delhi; Director General of Health Services; and nominees of PGI Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry, TMCH Mumbai, and NEIGRIHMS Shillong.
  • The 64-member medical advisory council will have one member from each state and UT (nominated by the Home Ministry); chairman UGC; director NAAC, etc.
  • There will be four boards under the NMC for UG and PG medical education, ethics, ratings and assessment.
  • On the ground, the Bill represents a radical shift from the present system in which medical colleges are subject to annual inspections on physical, infrastructural and bed-patient norms.
  • The Bill also provides for the introduction of a licentiate (exit) examination within three years of its passage by Parliament. Such a move would make the medical sector the first in the country’s higher education system to have a common entrance test (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), counselling and exit examination.