Medical Education India
Amid a growing opposition to the common entrance test also called National Eligibility-cum-Entrance (NEET) test, the central government has decided to hold consultations with the health ministries of various states on Monday to discuss the issue. In Picture: An Indian medical student shouts slogans during a protest against the government move to reserve more college places for lower caste candidates in the northern Indian city of Amritsar[REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE]Reuters

The Parliamentary standing committee on health, Tuesday slammed the Medical Council of India (MCI) for failing to regulate the medical education sector in the country.

The committee, constituted Sept 1, 2015 to review the functioning of the health department, tabled its report in the Rajya Sabha stating the MCI has been violating ethics while providing licenses to the country's medical colleges, The Press Trust of India reports.

The Committee recommended that the Common Medical Entrance Test (CMET) held for admission to MBBS and PG courses to various medical colleges should be based on merit and not money, which it said has become the criterion in some colleges.

It also called for the restructuring of the medical education programme in India and also said that PG entrance exams should be conducted immediately after final year MBBS exams, so that graduate doctors can concentrate on practical skills during internship.

The MCI was earlier also pulled up by the Central Information Commission over quacks issuing fake MBBS degrees and was directed to take strict action to ensure transparency in the establishment of medical colleges in the country as well as issuance of medical degrees.

The parliamentary committee also took a dig at the composition of the MCI, describing it as opaque and skewed. The report, while emphasising on bringing diversity within MCI said: "If the medical regulator has to function all its stipulated functions, then its membership should be opened to diverse stakeholders. There is currently no restriction on the term of a council member which has led to the entrenchment of vested interests."

The committee called for scrapping of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, under which the apex body for medical education is currently functioning.

It also recommended the bifurcation of two major areas -- medical education and practice of ethical conduct by medical professionals — so they receive more focused attention. The health ministry was also pulled up by the committee for failing to stem the rot in the medical education, The Times of India reported.

It said the direct monitoring of MCI by the central government is necessary, which could generate accountability in the medical education system.