Former health services DG to lead MCI board of governors

Former director general of health services Dr R K Srivastav will be the new chairman of the board of governors (BoG) of the Medical Council of India. He will replace Dr K K Talwar. The term of the BoG headed by Talwar, who assumed office in 2010, ended earlier this month. Two members of that board have been retained in the new BoG which the Health Ministry constituted on Thursday.

"A new BoG for MCI has been constituted as an interim arrangement before an elected body takes over. They have to conduct elections within six months," said Joint Secretary Dr Vishwas Mehta.

The President of India promulgated an Ordinance on May 21, amending the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The Ordinance was required as the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2013, which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on March 19, could not be taken up for consideration and passing, and the term of the present BoG ended on May 14.

The ministry has been granting extensions to the BoG led by Talwar on the ground that once the National Commission for Human Resources in Health Bill is passed and an overarching body to regulate medical and paramedical education takes charge, the MCI would become redundant. However, the standing committee on health and family welfare shot down the NCHRH proposal citing numerous shortcomings.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's decision to grant the BoG a second extension in May last year had run into trouble in Parliament where members had questioned the integrity of the board. Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2012 was finally passed, but the BJD and the Left walked out and the TMC voted against it.

In the new board, Dr K S Sharma, Director, Academics Tata Memorial Centre and professor of anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai; Prof K Mohandas, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala University of Health and Allied Sciences, Thrissur, have been retained.

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