New Delhi: A bill was introduced in the Lok
Sabha on Friday to amend the Medical Council of India Act to
replace the existing board of the MCI, facing corruption
charges, with a seven-member panel of eminent doctors.
The corruption-ridden MCI, set up 76 years ago to regulate
medical education in the country, has already been dissolved
through an ordinance in May this year.
A six-member panel of doctors, led by gastro-enterologist
S K Sarin, has replaced its board of governors.
Introducing the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill,
2010, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said certain events in
April had evoked public demand for immediate action.
One suggestion was bringing in an altogether new body.
Another idea was to amend the MCI Act, 1956.
The amendment bill deems that the MCI shall stand
superseded and the President, Vice President and other members
of the council shall vacate their offices and have no claim
for any compensation.
It says the council shall be reconstituted within a period
of one year from the date of supersession. Until a new council
is constituted, the board of Governors shall exercise the
powers and perform the functions of the council under the new
MCI president Ketan Desai was arrested on April 22 by the
CBI for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs two crore to give
permission to a Punjab medical college to recruit a fresh
batch of students without having requisite infrastructure.
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Council Act, 1933, now repealed, with the main function of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 institutions in India and
In 1956, the old Act was repealed and a new one enacted.
Opposing the amendment bill, Prabodh Panda (CPI) said this
is an attempt to encroach on the rights of autonomous
institutions. The Government plans to bring the MCI under the
proposed National Council for Health Research.
Congress member Chintamani said MCI was only helping the
profit-making colleges. "It had become the money-making
council of India," he added.