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National Medical Commission Bill

Prelims - Polity, Mains -GS3- Economic Development

1. The Union Cabinet cleared a bill to set up a National Medical Commission (NMC).

2. It will have responsibilities such as approving and assessing medical colleges, conducting common MBBS entrance and exit examinations and regulating course fees.

3. The National Medical Commission Bill 2019 proposes to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. NMC will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI), which was dissolved in 2010 following corruption charges.

Features of the NMC

Conducting Tests

1. The common final year MBBS exam will now be known as the National Exit Test (NEXT) to start medical practice, seek admissions to post-graduate medical courses and as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.

2. The bill also seeks to make the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), common counselling and NEXT applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs) such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to ensure uniform standards.

Regulating Medical Colleges

1. NMC will also regulate fees and all other charges for 50% seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.

2. The Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) under NMC will assess medical colleges and develop a system for ranking them.

3. Apart from MARB, there will be three other autonomous boards under NMC, the Under-Graduate Medical Education Board, the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, and the Ethics and Medical Registration Board.

4. NMC, with the help of these boards, will ensure a dynamic and modern educational environment, decreasing the emphasis on physical infrastructure, achieving the norms in global standards and an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

5. The Medical Assessment and Rating Board will grant permission for new medical colleges, starting PG courses and increasing seats based on the standards set by the UG and PG boards.

Medical Advisory Council

1. The bill proposes to set up a Medical Advisory Council as a separate entity.

2.  It will serve as the primary platform through which the states will put forward their views and concerns before the NMC and help shape the overall agenda in medical education and training.

3. Autonomous boards will be under state medical councils.

Resistance to the MCI

The Indian Medical Association is resisting the bill as it claims that replacing MCI with another body may just result in people coming up with new forms of corruption.

Source: Live Mint