The Union Cabinet has finally cleared the bill to form the National Medical Commission (NMC), the decision was confirmed in a meeting on Wednesday. The NMC will be replacing functions which were previously overseen by the Medical Council of India (MCI). However, following the corruption charges against the MCI in 2010, several have been pushing for the formation of a new organisation to oversee medical colleges and various aspects of medical education. Now that the NMC has been given the green signal, hereās a breakdown of what changes can be expected to be seen in the medical education system.
What is the National Medical Commission?
The National Medical Commission or NMC, was first an idea introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2017, but never really found much traction following this. The National Commission Bill of 2019 aims to repeal and replace the Medical Council Act of 1956, which had stated the responsibilities and the functions of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
The MCI has long been the functionary which upholds the rules of medical education. Whether with regards to entrance exams or to specific courses themselves, the MCI oversaw all the primary issues pertaining to medical colleges and education. With the NMC set to now be formed, these functions will be handed over to the new committee.
As per the new regulations, the NMC will be responsible for conducting entrance exams, such as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). It will also be implementing the National Exist Test (NEXT) for medical students upon completion of their education. NEXT will not only function as an entrance exam for post graduate medical courses, but will also additionally act as a screening test for students who have pursued medical studies outside of India.
As part of its reforms, the NMC will also be overseeing fees structures of 50 percent of private college seats. It will be responsible for allowing new courses and course fees to be introduced as well as for increasing the number of seats in any given college.
There will be four autonomous boards which fall under the NMC: A board to oversee Undergraduate Medical Education, another to take care of Postgraduate Medical Education, the Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and finally the Ethics and Medical Registration Board.