MCI buried, new panel takes charge

Prez promulgates ordinance; Dr Shetty roped in

MCI buried, new panel takes charge

The Centre plans to root out corruption in the Medical Council of India.

Narayana Hrudayalaya chairman and senior consultant cardiac surgeon Devi Shetty is a member on the interim committee which will oversee and manage the medical colleges in India and determine how medicine is practised across the country.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Shetty said the committee “will start functioning within a week or two”, adding that while steps taken by the MCI will be termed void, there would be major changes.

“There will be a revamp and radical change in medical education in the country,” he promised.

Union Health Secretary Sujatha Rao said the interim committee will be in charge for a year. She had said on Friday that a draft law, which would be a legislative response to the medical council’s credibility crisis, would be formulated for establishing a permament body within a month.

Ministry notification

After Patil gave assent to the ordinance, the Union Law Ministry issued a notification, making the MCI’s dissolution official. The ordinance is the direct result of the alleged corruption that marked the MCI’s functioning and the arrest of its president Ketan Desai who was caught taking bribe and subsequently arrested on April 22 by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Desai, who has been placed under suspension by the Gujarat government, was nabbed while allegedly accepting Rs 2 crore to give recognition to a medical college in Punjab though it did not meet the MCI standards.

The MCI was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933 — now repealed — with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications in India and abroad. After the old Act was repealed and replaced with a new one in 1956, the legislation was modified in 1964, 1993 and 2001.

The MCI’s objectives included maintaining a uniform standard of medical education at the both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and recommending recognition or de-recognition of medical qualifications of medical institutions.

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