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Niti Aayog may recommend setting up of a National Medical Commission, which would replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with the think-tank likely to suggest scrapping of the latter in light of a parliamentary committee calling for the revamp of the MCI.
A senior Niti Aayog official said that the very design of the MCI was bound to make it fail as a regulator leading to downfall of the country’s medical education system. Junking the body, the official said, would be a step towards removing the “inspector raj” in the medical education system thus ensuring an increase in the number of medical colleges.
The proposed medical commission, the contours of which are still being finalised by Niti, is expected to have 19-20 members both from medical and non-medical backgrounds. The commission would also have four autonomous boards to make suggestions for undergraduate education, postgraduate education, accreditation of colleges, and issues pertaining to medical ethics.
The final report on revamping the medical education system in the country, on which a committee headed by Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya has been deliberating, would be submitted to the government soon, the official said. A Parliamentary Standing Committee in March issued a report seeking reform of the MCI, suggesting that it neither “represents professional excellence nor its ethos” and that the council’s design was “opaque” and “biased” that went against larger public health goals of India. The report also said that government had virtually no power to disagree with the MCI. In May, the Supreme Court endorsed the report by the standing committee and noted that medical education and profession in the country is at its “lowest ebb” and suffering from “total system failure” due to corruption and decay. The apex court also used its rare and extraordinary constitutional powers to establish a three-member committee, headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, to supervise the MCI’s functioning for at least one year.
The Niti Aayog official also informed that apart from the MCI, it was also given a task of looking into revamping several other educational bodies such as University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
PM to meet Niti officials on Thursday
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Niti Aayog on Thursday to hold discussions with regard to the progress made by the think-tank on the 15-year vision document and the seven-year strategy document.
“The Prime Minister is scheduled to chair a meeting of the Niti Aayog on Thursday on the vision document, where the Aayog will make a presentation to him on the progress so far. The PM will also share his views on the document,” a senior government official said.
The policy making body has been entrusted to prepare a 15-year vision document beginning 2017-18 fiscal, which will replace the five-year planning system followed for over six decades. ENS