HRD, health ministries agree on medical education

A council will be formed to identify medical colleges in tandem with Health Ministry.

New Delhi: After two months of wrangling over who will control medical education in the country, the human resource development and health ministries appear to have agreed on forming a separate council for recognising medical colleges across the country, official sources said.

HRD ministry sources say that a separate council will be formed under the proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research to identify medical colleges in tandem with the Health Ministry.

A tug of war like situation had been on between the two ministries since the past couple of months as the HRD ministry wanted to include medical education, which is presently with the health ministry, in its proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER).

However, the Health Ministry was keen on forming a separate body, National Council for Human Resource in Health (NCHRH), to oversee health and medical education in India.

After a series of meetings between officials of both the ministries, a middle ground was reached and the draft NCHER bill modified to include representatives from both health and HRD ministries.

"The accreditation process would be as per the HRD ministry`s norms. But, since medical education is a specialized field, expert opinion will be duly taken from the health ministry," a HRD ministry official said.

Presently, the Medical Council of India oversees medical education and licensing of medical colleges in India.

"It will be in tandem with the Health Ministry`s council. The NCHER will be consulting them before giving license to medical colleges," he added.

However, the mechanism for regulation of medical colleges is yet to be decided. This includes formulation of syllabus and overseeing the performance of the colleges.

"The exact course of action can only be decided by the Cabinet. The bill is being formulated based on recommendations from all quarters and a final call will be taken by the government," the official said.

The Health Ministry is also reportedly comfortable with the new set up.


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