The Government on Thursday introduced a bill to amend the Medical Council of India Act, 1956, in order to replace the existing board of the MCI with a seven-member panel of eminent doctors.
The corruption-ridden MCI, set up 76 years ago to regulate medical education in the country, has already been dissolved through an ordinance in May this year. A six-member panel of doctors, led by gastroenterologist S K Sarin, has replaced its board of governors.
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2010, introduced by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, deems that the MCI shall stand superseded and the President, Vice President and other members of the council shall vacate their offices and have no claim for any compensation.
It further says the council shall be reconstituted within a period of one year from the date of supercession. Until a new council is constituted, the board of Governors shall exercise the powers and perform the functions of the council under the new Bill.
MCI president Ketan Desai was arrested on April 22 by the CBI for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs two crore to give permission to a Punjab medical college to recruit a fresh batch of students without having requisite infrastructure.
The MCI was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, now repealed, with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical institutions in India and abroad.
In 1956, the old Act was repealed and a new one was enacted. This was further modified in 1964, 1993 and 2001.
The objectives of the Council include maintenance of uniform standards of medical education, both undergraduate and postgraduate, and recommendation for recognition or de-recognition of medical qualifications of institutions of India or foreign countries.