NITI Aayog recommends replacing MCI with medical education commission

The Medical Council of India, often in the news for controversial approvals and corruption, is set to be replaced by a medical education commission that will have three independent wings to oversee curriculum, accreditation of colleges and medical ethics.

The new commission could be run by eminent persons from the medical field, who will be allowed to continue their professional commitments as the Niti Aayog panel that framed the guidelines felt this would ensure a wider talent pool. 

The scandal-hit MCI will be a thing of past as the panel, headed by Niti Aayog chairperson Arvind Panagariya, has sought a detailed overhaul of the medical education regulator that aims to bridge shortages of skilled health workers and address a major hurdle in meeting growing quality healthcare needs. 

The proposed commission will be an umbrella organisation at the top with a mandate to regulate and monitor medical education and practices and the division of responsibilities is intended to ensure more responsive functioning. "The plan is to totally disband MCI and set up an entirely new entity," said a source.

PG Times had on March 28 reported that during a health sector review, PM Narendra Modi and the health ministry had discussed the option of scrapping the MCI, which has been shrouded in controversy in recent years, altogether. Keen to reform the medical education sector and make the healthcare system deliver, the government set up a three-member committee to prepare a blueprint to revamp the current set-up. The committee has PM's additional principal secretary P K Mishra, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant as members, besides Panagariya. 

MCI's credibility hit an alltime low in 2010 when its former president Ketan Desai was arrested on April 22 by CBI along with some others in a Rs 2 crore bribery case. The money was allegedly intended to grant permission to a college in Patiala to enrol students.

Sources said the committee met eminent medical experts and representatives of MCI and is due to formally submit its report soon. A source said the posts of members and heads of the panel and three autonomous bodies would also be open for experts of the field.

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