Medical Admissions 2019-20

Medical Admissions 2019-20

Bill to replace MCI, cut Medical education cost cleared

PUBLISH DATE 16th December 2017

In a move to set rolling long-pending reforms in medical education, the Union Cabinet on Friday cleared the national medical commission (NMC) bill that reduces red tape and gives the Centre a say in fixing fees in up to 40% of seats in private medical colleges.

The new bill seeks to replace the existing apex medical education regulator, Medical Council of India (MCI), with a new body in an effort to increase transparency in the wake of corruption cases with regard to admissions to medical colleges that seriously tainted the reputation of the council.

While private medical colleges will still have the power to determine fees for a majority of seats, those for 40% seats will be decided by the NMC, offering students applying for seats in private colleges some reprieve from exorbitant fees.

Colleges won’t need nod to add seats

TOI had on March 28, 2016, reported that PM Modi had called for the scrapping of the MCI, which was followed by the setting up of a panel under Niti Aayog. The new bill proposes a common entrance exam and licentiate exam which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practicing licences, officials said. The exit exam will be treated as an entrance exam for PG courses. The NEET for MBBS courses and exit exam will also end multiplicity of exams.

The nod to the bill comes in the wake of a plethora of complaints against the MCI and its top officials who have been accused of using sweeping powers to derecognise medical colleges as well as manipulate admissions to mint money. The new commission will have four boards for undergraduate medical education, PG medical education, medical assessment and rating and ethics and medical registration. As per the provisions of the draft bill, no permission would be needed to add seats or to start postgraduate courses. The structure of the commission will see a reduced number of elected members. This has attracted allegations that the NMC would be undemocratic, but official sources said it will improve representation through well regarded doctors and non-medical experts too.

Under the Medical Council Act of 1956, medical colleges needed permission to be established and recognised, for renewal and increase in intake. The NMC bill reduces this to establishment and recognition. There will be no need for annual renewal and colleges can automatically increase seats. Also, medical institutions will be able start PG courses on their own.

The MCI has been accused of being opaque in its accreditation process and the decision to do away with permissions in the new bill is aimed at rooting out discretion, though the flip side could be that colleges are subjected to less scrutiny

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