National Medical Commission
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Replaced Medical Council of India
Sushmi Dey, September 26, 2020: The Times of India
Signalling a major reform, India’s new medical education regulator, the National Medical Commission (NMC), came into force, abolishing the 87-year-old Medical Council of India, which was tainted by corruption in its later years.
The Centre has notified the 33-member NMC, which will be chaired for three years by Suresh Chandra Sharma, retired HoD, ENT, AIIMS, New Delhi, while Dr Rakesh Kumar Vats, ex-secretary general, Board of Governors MCI, has been appointed as the secretary of the NMC for a similar tenure. The NMC, which aims to make the regulator’s functions well defined and accountable, will have four autonomous boards to regulate undergraduate medical education, postgraduate medical education, medical assessment and ratings, and ethics and medical registration.
The commission will also frame policies to implement the new legislation — National Medical Commission Act 2019 — passed by Parliament last year to reform the medical education sector.
The key provisions of the NMC Act, 2019, includes fee regulation on 50% seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities and commencement of final-year MBBS exam as a National Exit Text (NEXT), which will serve as a licentiate exam for entrance to postgraduate medical courses and as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.
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 for NEXT. Enactment of the NMC will also end inspections for college registration renewals.
The NMC will make guidelines for a new cadre of non-MBBS mid-level health service providers such as nursing practitioners and pharmacists with limited rights to dispense medicines.