Corruption-ridden Medical Council of India (MCI), set up 76 years ago to regulate medical education in the country, was dissolved on Saturday in the wake of a recent scam and was replaced by a six-member panel of eminent doctors, led by gastroenterologist S K Sarin.
An ordinance dissolving the scam-tainted MCI was signed by President Pratibha Patil and notified by the Law Ministry.
The six-member panel will be headed by Dr S K Sarin and the members will include Dr Ranjit Roy Chowdhary, Dr Sita Naik, Dr Gautam Sen, Dr Devi Shetty and Dr R L Salhan.
Dr Sarin is currently the Director Professor of Gastroenterology at the G B Pant Hospital in New Delhi. He is an alumnus of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and has been in several other Government panels.
The panel will be in charge till the next one year, Health Secretary Sujatha Rao said.
The Government has said it will bring in a new law for the formation of an overarching body to regulate medical education in the country.
Rao on Friday said a draft law for the formation of such a body will be formulated within a month. She added that the draft law will be a legislative response to the credibility crisis which the MCI was in.
She said that another option was to bring in an amendment to the MCI Act of 1956 to give Government some power in the regulatory body.
MCI president Ketan Desai was arrested on April 22 by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2 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The MCI was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, now repealed, with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical institutions in India and abroad.
In 1956, the old Act was repealed and a new one was enacted.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.