The Union health ministry has notified the National Medical Commission (NMC) as regulatory body of medical education and practice in India following the abolishing of Medical Council of India (MCI).
“In pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (1) of Section 60 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019, the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 is hereby repealed with effect from the 25th day of September 2020, ” as per the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) notification.
NMC or National Medical Commission is the Government body formed to overtake medical education regulations from the Medical Council of India or MCI. The government had dissolved the MCI in 2018 following the corruption charges and replaced it with a Board of Governors (BoG), which was chaired by Dr VK Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog. The body was functioning under the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act, 1956. The IMC Act stands repealed and has been replaced by The NMC Act that came into existence on August 8, 2019.
“The Board of Governors appointed under Section 3A of the IMC Act, 1956 in supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI) constituted under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the said Act shall stand dissolved,” the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) notification read.
The former head of Delhi All India Institute of Medical Sciences ENT department, Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma has been appointed for a period of three years with effect from September 25, 2020.
Dr Rakesh Kumar Vats, secretary-general, BoG-MCI, has been appointed as the secretary of the NMC by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).
The NMC comprises a chairman, 10 ex-officio members and 22 part-time members. The ex-officio members include presidents of the four autonomous boards.
The NMC will have four separate autonomous boards under the NMC act: the Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB), Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB), Medical Assessment and Rating Board and the Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
As one of the mandates of the NMC is to look at the cost of medical education, it will also provide for a common entrance examination for MBBS (NEET) along with common counselling for all medical institutions in the country. According to the health ministry, this provision will prevent seat blocking in parallel counselling processes and will eliminate the need for students to approach multiple colleges and take part in multiple counselling processes for admission. This will save students and their families from unnecessary physical and financial trauma.
Under the NMC Act, the final year examination has been converted into a nationwide exit test called NEXT. This single examination will grant – i) a license to practice medicine, ii) an MBBS degree, and iii) entrance to postgraduate courses. There is a provision for common counselling for entrance to PG courses also. Students will be able to get admission to seats in all medical colleges and to institutes of national importance like AIIMS, PGI Chandigarh and JIPMER through a single counselling process. The Act does not impose any restriction on the number of attempts at NEXT examination.
A singularly outstanding feature of the NMC Act is that it provides for the regulation of fees and all other charges in 50 per cent seats in private colleges as well as deemed to be universities as there was no provision to regulate fees in the Indian Medical Council Act 1956. According to the government, nearly 50 per cent of the total MBBS seats in the country are in government colleges, which have nominal fees. Of the remaining seats, 50 per cent would be regulated by NMC. This means that almost 75 per cent of total seats in the country would be available at reasonable fees.