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.


Hindu god takes place of nat’l emblem in NMC logo


New Delhi : The National Medical Commission (NMC) has modified its logo, dropping the national emblem and including the photo of Dhanvantri — an avatar of Lord Vishnu who is referred to as the god of Ayurveda in the Puranas.

The NMC said the Dhanvantri logo was in use for almost a year. “Earlier, it was in black and white and, therefore, not visible in printouts. We have simply used a colour photo in the centre of the logo,” an official said.

Another official, who did not want to be identified, said even the WHO’s emblem consisted of the United Nations’ symbol overlain by a staff with a snake coiling around it. The staff and snake has long been a symbol of medicine and the medical profession. WHO says it originates from the story of Asclepius, who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a god of healing and whose cult involved the use of snakes.

The NMC logo has no mention of ‘India’ but has used the term ‘Bharat’. Notably, there was no official announcement on the logo change. The change in logo was criticised by the Indian Medical Association’s Kerala chapter. “The recent change in the NMC logo is not acceptable to the modern medical fraternity. The new logo gives a wrong message and will harm the scientific and secular nature of the commission,” it said in a statement, adding that the move should be rescinded.

Dr Sharad Kumar Aggarwal, national president of IMA, said they would discuss the matter in a meeting scheduled on Sunday and then issue a statement.

Last week, the health ministry had issued directives that Ayushman BharatHealth and Wellness Centres will now be known as Ayushman Arogya Mandir. The ministry said it had sent a letter to states and Union Territories to implement the rebranding exercise.
States have also been asked to upload photographs of rebranded primary health facilities on the Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) portal. The rebranded AB-HWCs will also have a new tagline — ‘Arogyam Parmam Dhanam’, the ministry said.

See also

Medical Council of India

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