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Medical studies out of health ministry?

The corruption exposed in the Medical Council of India could lead to the Health Ministry losing control of medical education.

india Updated: May 16, 2010 23:12 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The corruption exposed in the Medical Council of India could lead to the Health Ministry losing control of medical education.

The government is likely to bring medical education under the ambit of the proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), being piloted by the Human Resources Development Ministry, HT has learnt.

“There is no possibility of the dissolved MCI being revived in its present form in the future. Its days of monopolised control over medical education are over for all practical purposes,” a senior government official said.

A fresh clause in the draft NCHER bill might be inserted to place medical education under the control of the proposed single regulator for higher education in the country.

The law ministry is to make changes in the draft legislation, which is ready to be placed before the Central Advisory Body on Education next month. Sources said the government wants to introduce the NCHER bill in the monsoon session of parliament, to begin in July.

The government had decided to keep higher education in medical and agriculture fields out of the NCHER purview, but the MCI scam led to a rethink.

“The proposed NCHER will cover higher education and research, including university and technical education. This will now include medical education also,” said an official.

If that happensthe Health Ministry would then be left only with the responsibility of regulating the medical profession.

Medical education would be the second major professional stream to be taken away from its parent ministry to be brought under the HRD Ministry.

The proposed bill seeks to take away the control of legal education from the Bar Council of India (BCI).

The government proposes to do away with the multiple regulators for different streams of higher education, and provide for a single apex regulator, the NCHER.

It remains to be seen how the health ministry will react to the move, since the feeble protests by the law ministry did not create much of a stir.

The health ministry has decided to take up the matter with the HRD ministry this week.