New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Monday finalised the names of 25 members of the National Medical Commission (NMC), which will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI), through a draw of lots from the nominations sent by the state governments, Union territories and state medical councils. Once the NMC comes into being, the MCI will automatically get dissolved and the nearly 63-year-old Indian Medical Council Act will stand abolished.
The exercise of selecting the 25 members took place in the presence media persons, who participated in the entire process, which was video-graphed.
“Today, 25 part-time members, including 10 vice-chancellors (VCs) from different states, nine representatives from the state medical councils (SMCs) and four members for the four autonomous boards, were selected,” Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.
“We have nine months to select the members of the NMC and within a short span of two months, we have framed the rules, notified those and also carried out the process of selection of the part-time members. To ensure probity and integrity of the highest order, a compact body is being selected through a transparent mechanism and representation of the states and state councils in rotation. This will facilitate faster decision making also,” he added.
The minister further stated that inclusion of members from a diverse background for balanced policy prescriptions was also being ensured.
The four boards to be set up under the NMC Act are the Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB), the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB), the Medical Assessment and Rating Board and the Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
During the lottery, 10 VCs from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Gujarat, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Punjab and Haryana were selected.
Those selected include Professor Rajendra Pandey, VC of the West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Himanshu A Pandya, VC of the Gujarat University, Professor Mahesh Verma, VC of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in Delhi, Rajababu Panwar, VC of the Rajasthan University of Health Sciences and Raj Bahadur, VC of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in Punjab’s Faridkot among others.
Following the same procedure, nine representatives from the SMCs of Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Manipur were selected.
In the third segment of the draw of lots, four members from Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland and Madhya Pradesh, who will serve as part-time members for the autonomous boards, were selected.
Ajay Kumar Khanna from the Uttarakhand Medical Council was selected for the Search Committee from amongst the nine part-time members of the NMC.
Other NMC members include a senior officer of the rank of additional secretary, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria and two directors from the PGIMER, Chandigarh and the Tata Memorial Hospital.
The health ministry has also sought applications for the post of chairperson, who will be selected by the Search Committee.
The government superseded the MCI in 2017 and appointed a Board of Governors (BoG) to perform its functions. The NMC Act, which seeks to usher in mega reforms in the medical education sector, received the assent of the President on August 8 and was published in the official gazette the same day.
The Act provides for setting up of an NMC in place of the MCI for development and regulation of all aspects of medical education, profession and institutions.
Several relevant sections of the Act came into force on September 2.
The Health Ministry had written to all the chief secretaries, home secretaries (in UTs) and state medical councils, seeking nominations for selection of members to set up a Medical Advisory Council (MAC).
The MAC was constituted vide a notification dated October 10 and 11. It consists of representatives of all the 36 states and UTs and 29 SMCs (Meghalaya does not have an SMC and no UT except Delhi has an SMC).
Monday’s draw of lots took place with the names of the members of the MAC.
In the meantime, the Board of Governors has been requested to prepare the draft guidelines for fee regulation, so that they can be used as a base document by the NMC.