The Medical Council of India (MCI) wants the Supreme Court to modify its order on the constitution of a three-member panel headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha to oversee how the regulator of medical profession and education functions.
In its application, the regulator said the Supreme Court order is based on a perception that MCI is corrupt. Voicing its strong reservations against the reasons the top court cited to appoint the panel, the MCI said vested interests have orchestrated a well-designed propaganda against the council to render it weak and toothless.
According to the MCI, the vested interests are none other than private colleges who fail to secure recognition in view of gross deficiencies in faculty, clinical material and other physical facilities.
As a medical regulator, MCI has to inspect all colleges — government and private — every year to ensure institutions maintain minimum standards prescribed by the council. Extension of recognition is given on the basis of the inspection that has to be done in a time-bound manner.
On May 3, a five-judge bench headed by Justice AR Dave had constituted the Justice Lodha committee. The direction came while the court upheld Madhya Pradesh government law that made it mandatory for private colleges to admit students through a state-conducted exam.
“The MCI was repeatedly found short of fulfilling its mandated responsibilities …medical graduates lacked competence in performing basic healthcare tasks. Instances of unethical practices continued to grow. The MCI was not able to spearhead any serious reforms in medical education,” it said, quoting a parliamentary committee report.
But, MCI contested the court’s opinion. “Lobbies with ulterior motives and interest have done everything possible in their attempts to malign the name of the MCI and are further attempting to ensure that instead of getting appreciated for humongous tasks being performed by the MCI year after year – with complete sincerity, transparency and objectivity, the MCI has been finding itself at the receiving end on account of malicious propaganda against it,” it stated in the application.