Government ruled out dissolution of the Medical Council of India, which was mired in a controversy sometime back, but said it would be brought under the proposed National Commission for Human Resources for Health (NCHRC). Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also said in the Lok Sabha that autonomous institutions like MCI, Nursing Council of India and Dental Council of India will be subsumed under the umbrella NCHRH.
He stated this while allaying fears that the medical council will be dissolved during a debate on the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2012. The bill seeks to extend the tenure of the MCI Board of Governors till May 2013 as its current tenure comes to an end on May 14. “We will not dissolve the Medical Council, Dental Council or Nursing Council. They will be subsumed under the overarching body. Elected presidents of these councils will be members of the overarching body (NCHRH),” Mr. Azad said.
The Minister said the decision to set up NCHRH was announced in the Presidential Address and a bill was pending with the Standing Committee. Putting the onus on the Standing Committee, he said, “If I get the standing committee report tomorrow, I can come with the bill in the Monsoon Session. But if I don’t get the report, then it will be delayed. Don’t haul me for that.”
Opposition MPs, however, demanded withdrawal of the bill saying the decision to extend the tenure of the board is “undemocratic.” They insisted that a democratically elected body should be constituted to rule the MCI. The Bill was later passed by 100 votes in favour and 57 against after BJD member Tathagata Satpathy sought a division. There was no abstention. The Left and BJD MPs staged a walkout. Apprehending defeat of the bill on the floor of the House, government managers including Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, and Azad were seen talking to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.