A bill to supersede the Indian Medical Council for a period of two years during which the Board of Governors will run the once scam-tainted regulatory body for medical education was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019, introduced by Minister of State for Health Ashwini Chubey, seeks to replace the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance issued by the previous government.

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“The move will ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country,” the government had said when the Cabinet had cleared the proposal last week.

During this period, the Board of Governors (BoG) shall exercise powers and functions of MCI as assigned under the IMC Act, 1956. The number of members in the BoG will be increased from existing 7 to 12, the statement stated.

Replacing an ordinance

The Ministry of Health had come across certain arbitrary action by MCI in disregard to provisions of the IMC Act and related regulations. The Oversight Committee constituted by the Supreme Court to oversee functioning of MCI had also cited instances of non-compliance of their instructions and subsequently, all members of the panel had tendered their resignation.

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In a bid to put an alternative mechanism in place to bring transparency, accountability and quality in governance of medical education, the government had decided to supersede the MCI through the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 and entrust its affairs to a BoG comprising eminent doctors.

Later, a bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in December, 2018. However, it could not be passed by the Rajya Sabha and the bill lapsed following dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. A fresh ordinance was issued by the previous government. The Bill introduced Thursday will replace the ordinance.