New Delhi: After the image of the Medical Council of India took a dent with the arrest of it president on corruption charges, the government on Tuesday said its immediate concern was to restore the credibility of MCI, which governs medical eduction in the country.
Replying to a calling attention motion in the Rajya Sabha on irregularities in the functioning of the MCI in giving approval to medical colleges, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said he wanted the system to be clean, accountable and open.
“Our first and immediate concern should be to restore the credibility of the MCI and to enable the Council to function in a fair and objective manner and also to restore the confidence of all those involved in medical education in the country,” he said.
The response of the minister came after members raised the issue of irregularities in granting approval to medical colleges and the arrest of MCI president Ketan Desai on corruption charges.
“The government is examining several possible avenues to achieve these objectives taking into account both the present legal status as well as those essential elements of reform that would be necessary,” Azad said.
The minister admitted from time to time there are complaints against the nature of the recommendations made by the MCI to the government and such complaints are forwarded to the Council for appropriate remedial action.
“However, I am increasingly of the opinion that provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 are inadequate to ensure transparent, healthy and constructive decision making within the council,” Azad said.
He said the health ministry had introduced a comprehensive Bill in Parliament in August 2005 to amend various provisions of the Act to make the Council more responsible in its functioning and to empower the central government to take steps to make it more transparent and accountable.
The minister, however, said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare did not agree with most of the amendments proposed in the Bill.
Urging the members to “revisit this issue”, Azad said the recent events (arrest of Desai) suggest the need for further reforms in matters relating to medical eduction in the country.