New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry will
have no say in granting recognition to medical colleges as
absolute powers have been given in this regard to a six-member
panel which replaced the defunct Medical Council of India.
Speaking to the media after his first meeting today with
the new committee, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "The
six-member panel which replaced the MCI will be an autonomous
body with double powers. It will include the powers of MCI and
also that of the Health Ministry."
He said, "As such no recommendations from the Ministry
will be sent to them nor these will be entertained by them. As
used to happen earlier where the Ministry had a final say, now
the panel`s decision will be considered final."
Azad explained that in earlier occasions any party
unhappy with the MCI`s decision had the privilege to approach
the Ministry. This will not happen now, he added.
"If an aggrieved party is not satisfied with their
decision, the new panel will have a re-look into it and
finally give a go-ahead," he said.
A six-member panel headed by eminent doctor S K Sarin was
formed to replace the 76-year-old MCI, which had been facing
allegations of corrupt practices. Other members of the panel,
which will be in charge till the next one year, are Ranjit Roy
Chowdhary, Sita Naik, Gautam Sen, Devi Shetty and R L Salhan.
The panel met Health Secretary Sujatha Rao and Azad to
discuss how to carry out the regulatory functions in medical
education. The minister has advised the doctors to judiciously
take all decisions and maintain transparency, honesty and
"I have told them they that they will be in a glass house
which will be transparent and their performance will be
monitored by all," Azad said.
Asked about ways to check any abuse of powers by any
member in the new team, Azad said, "In an ordinance passed on
May 15, the ministry have been empowered to dissolve or remove
any member if found guilty (of such practices)."