The government is making concerted efforts to constitute the National Medical Commission (NMC) at the earliest so that some of the major reforms like a common entrance test and regulation of fees can be implemented from the coming academic year 2020-21.
According to Health Ministry officials, a common NEET (under graduate) examination for entry into all medical colleges and also AIIMS, JIPMER, PGI etc. will be implemented from 2020.
Efforts are being made to notify fee regulations with effect from the year 2020-21 and advance action on this has already been initiated by the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday assured that the process of implementing the NMC will be done in the most transparent manner and this historic reform of the Modi government will usher in quality and efficient medical education in the country. The Health Ministry has already framed the rules for the constitution of the NMC.
The National Medical Commission Act, 2019 was notified in August, 2019 to constitute a National Medical Commission for development and regulation of all aspects relating to medical education, medical profession & medical institutions. It also provides for the constitution of a Medical Advisory Council to advise and make recommendations to the Commission.
The Commission will have four autonomous boards, namely Under-Graduate Medical Education Board, Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) and Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
Presently, 23 nominations of Vice Chancellor and 22 nominations from State Medical Council have been received. Once the MAC is notified, 9 members from State Medical Councils and 10 members from State/UT representatives will be selected as members of the National Medical Commission. The draw of lots is scheduled to be held on October 14.
The Advisory Council will be partially notified before the draw of lots.
The Ministry has already invited applications for the posts of Chairperson of the Commission, Presidents and members of four Autonomous Boards, Members and Secretary of the Commission. The selection to the said posts is to be made on the recommendations of a Search Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
Health Ministry officials said the formation of the NMC and simplification of procedures is expected to spur growth in the number of UG and PG seats in the country which will ensure availability of adequate and qualified medical professionals to cater to the healthcare needs of the country.
It will lead to a single entrance examination and common counselling for admission to medical institutions at the UG level including AIIMS.
A common final year exam, National Exit Test (NEXT) will assess the quality of medical education which would also be the basis for PG entrance and a screening test. The students will not have to appear in a separate exam for PG entrance and may focus on the UG subjects and internship.
Indian students getting foreign degrees will have to pass through the same final year exam to get a license. There will be a separate board to focus on every aspect of the medical education like development of curriculum, standards of medical education, training of faculty, and facilitation of research.
The rating of the medical colleges will be done by the Medical Assessment and Rating Board which will encourage colleges to improve the quality of education.
In addition, there will be maintenance of a live register for all registered medical practitioners and a separate register for Community Health Providers. There will be no requirement of annual renewal of the medical colleges.
The NMC will frame guidelines for determination of the fees and all other charges for 50% seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities. As a result, such proportion of seats in such colleges would be available at a reasonable price.
The penal provision for non-compliant colleges would range from warning, monetary penalty, reducing intake, stoppage of admission leading up to withdrawal of recognition.
A cadre of Community Health Providers will be created especially for primary and preventive healthcare.
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