The Medical Council of India – change necessary, apprehensions persist
The Government of India superseded the Medical Council of India (MCI) with effect from May 15, 2010 by an amendment to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The supersession followed reports of financial irregularities and corruption in the Council. A board of governors was put in place. By two further amendments in 2011 and 2012, the powers of the MCI continued to be exercised by reconstituted boards of governors. The term of the current board of governors expired on May 14, 2013. An extension of 180 days has been granted and, therefore, the Central Government should reconstitute the MCI by November 10, 2013 at the latest. On March 19, 2013, the government introduced a bill, The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2013, for the purpose . However, the government has inserted an escape clause that would allow it not to adhere to the time schedule. This is Section 3AA, which states, “The Central Government shall, as soon as possible [italics added], after the commencement of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act 2013, by notification in The Gazette of India, reconstitute the Council…..: provided that the Board of Governors constituted under sub-section of Section 3A shall continue to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the Council till the new Council is reconstituted.” So, do not hold your breath. With Parliament’s recent record of performance, it will be surprising if the Bill gets passed in the monsoon session.
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