New MCI bill proposes to empower govt to remove its Prez

New Delhi: A Bill seeking to make composition of Medical Council of India compact and representative and empower the Central government to discharge its functions effectively to ensure proper development of medical education in the country was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2013, seeks to give government powers to remove the President, Vice President or a member of MCI if found indulging in corrupt practices or has abused his position or has been proved guilty of misbehaviour.

The Bill was introduced amid din in the House by Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, who said it seeks to further amend the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

The new legislation governing the apex medical regulator, proposes to fix the tenure of President of the elected-body of MCI to a maximum period of four years instead of five now.

The Bill also proposes to amend the Act to provide that no person shall hold the post of President or the Vice President for more than two terms.

The changes have been necessitated as the government had no control over the elected body under the present law.

The elected MCI body was disbanded in May 2010 and a Board of Governors installed after its then Chairman Ketan Desai was arrested by the CBI over charges of corruption.

The new Bill also makes mandatory renewal of enrolment of doctors every 10 years in the Indian medical register or the State medical register.

It seeks to reconstitute the Council and review its composition to give representation to Union Territories and remove the anomaly where states having larger number of medical colleges, but having formed a medical university, were having fewer seats in the Council as compared to states having fewer medical colleges affiliated to several universities.

The MCI is currently being run by a seven-member Board of Governors headed by a chairman and nominated by government.

Its term expires on May 13 by when an elected body has to be in place.