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Medical Council of India-History, Objective, Function

The Medical Council of India (MCI), established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act of 1933, served as the regulatory body overseeing medical education standards nationwide. However, in 2019, the government, acting on recommendations from NITI Aayog, opted to replace the MCI with the National Medical Commission (NMC). This transition signifies a significant shift in the governance structure of medical education in India and holds relevance for aspirants aiming to pursue careers in civil services like the IAS or IPS.

Latest updates on Medical Council of India (MCI)

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced in a gazette that the National Medical Commission (NMC) has taken over the functions of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
  • The Medical Council of India website is @https://www.nmc.org.in/ which helps to get more information.
  • In 2018, the MCI was abolished by the government and replaced by a Board of Governors (BoG) led by a member of NITI Aayog.
  • Once the National Medical Commission is fully operational, the Board of Governors will be abolished.
  • The IMC Act of 1956 was replaced by the National Medical Commission Act, effective from August 8, 2019.
  • The National Medical Commission (NMC) is now the primary authority for medical education in the country.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Medical Council of India approved the use of telemedicine by certified medical practitioners in April 2020.
  • Telemedicine involves diagnosing and treating patients remotely using telecommunications like video, phone, and applications.

Medical Council of India

The Medical Council of India (MCI) was instituted as a statutory body in India with the primary aim of maintaining consistent and high standards in medical education. Founded in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act of 1933, the MCI played a pivotal role in overseeing the quality of medical education until its dissolution on September 25, 2020. Subsequently, it was succeeded by the National Medical Commission, marking a significant transition in the governance of medical education in the country.

Highlights of the Medical Council of India
Established 1934
Dissolved September 25, 2020
Replaced By
National Medical Commission (NMC)
– Maintained a register of medical practitioners in India
– Granted recognition for medical qualifications
– Accredited medical schools
– Oversaw medical practice in India
Reason for Dissolution
Faced criticism for corruption and regulatory challenges

History of Medical Council of India

  • The Medical Council of India was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act of 1933 and later reconstituted under the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956.
  • Its responsibilities included recognizing medical qualifications, accrediting medical schools, registering medical practitioners, and overseeing medical practice in India.
  • Over time, the MCI faced criticism for corruption and regulatory challenges, especially due to the proliferation of privately owned medical colleges.
  • In 2001, MCI president Ketan Desai was removed from office after being found guilty of corruption and abuse of power. However, he returned to the MCI in 2007 and was reinstated as president in 2009.
  • Following Desai’s arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on corruption charges, the President of India dissolved the MCI in 2010.
  • The council’s functions were temporarily transferred to a Board of Governors in May 2011, and the MCI was reconstituted on November 6, 2013.

Vision of National Medical Commission

Goals of the National Medical Commission (NMC):

  1. Enhance access to quality medical education at affordable rates.
  2. Ensure the availability of sufficient and high-quality medical professionals across the nation.
  3. Promote fair and inclusive healthcare, emphasizing community health perspectives and making medical services accessible to all citizens.
  4. Encourage medical practitioners to utilize the latest medical research.
  5. Functions of NMC
  6. Formulate policies to uphold high standards in medical education and enact necessary legislation.
  7. Develop policies governing medical institutions, research, and practitioners, and establish relevant regulations.
  8. Assess healthcare needs, including human resources and infrastructure, and devise plans to meet these requirements.
  9. Coordinate and set guidelines for the effective operation of the Commission, Autonomous Boards, and State Medical Councils.
  10. Ensure collaboration among Autonomous Boards.
  11. Take necessary measures to ensure State Medical Councils adhere to established norms and regulations.
  12. Serve as an appellate authority over decisions made by Autonomous Boards.
  13. Establish rules and codes to uphold professional ethics in the medical field and promote ethical behaviour among practitioners.
  14. Set criteria for determining charges for 50% of seats in private medical institutions and universities.
  15. Exercise any additional powers and undertake tasks as assigned.

Function of Medical Council of India

The primary functions of the MCI were:

  • Setting and upholding consistent standards for undergraduate medical education.
  • Supervising postgraduate medical education in accredited medical colleges. (Note: The National Board of Examinations oversees postgraduate medical education in India).
  • Validating medical qualifications issued by universities or UGC in Indian medical institutions.
  • Recognizing foreign medical qualifications within India.
  • Accrediting medical colleges.
  • Enrolling doctors with recognized medical qualifications. State medical councils kept records of doctors, which were then sent to the national MCI quarterly. Foreign medical graduates could register directly.
  • Maintaining a directory called the Indian Medical Register containing details of all registered doctors.
  • Modifying regulations concerning medical education and practice as required.

National Medical Commission Bill 2019

On July 22nd, 2019, Dr. Harsha Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, introduced the National Medical Commission Bill 2019 in the Lok Sabha, aiming to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956. The Lok Sabha granted its consent to the Bill on July 29, 2019, and it was subsequently endorsed by the Rajya Sabha in August of the same year. The enactment of the National Medical Commission Act of 2019 heralds the establishment of the National Medical Commission (NMC), entrusted with the comprehensive oversight of medical education, practice, and institutions.

Features of NCM Bill 2019

Below are some of the significant features of the National Medical Commission 2019:

Feature  Description
Constitution of National Medical Commission The National Medical Commission (NMC) is established by the Bill. State Governments are mandated to establish State Medical Councils according to the National Medical Commission Bill.
National Medical Commission – Members The NMC comprises 25 members, including the Chairperson, Presidents of Post Graduate Medical Education Boards, Presidents of Undergraduate Education Boards, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and Director General of Health Services. A list of 25 members was finalized by the Ministry of Health in October 2019 through a draw of lots from nominations sent by State Governments, Medical Councils, and Union Territories.
National Medical Commission (NMC) – Boards The NMC is organized into 4 Boards: Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB), Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB), Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
National Medical Commission (NMC) – Functions Regulating medical institutions and professionals, ensuring compliance of State Medical Councils with the NMC guidelines, fixing fees for 50% of seats in private medical colleges, and assessing healthcare infrastructure and human resource needs.
Medical Advisory Council Constituted by the Central Government under the National Medical Commission Bill 2019, it advises the NMC on maintaining standards of medical education.
National Exit Test (NEXT) Proposed as a common final year MBBS exam under the NMC Act, it serves as a licensure exam, admission criterion for post-graduate medical courses, and entrance test for foreign medical graduates.
Ranking of Medical Colleges Conducted by the Medical Assessment and Rating Board of the NMC, ranking systems facilitate transparent admission processes and aid students in selecting institutes.

National Medical Commission Bill 2019- Objective

The objectives of the National Medical Commission Bill 2019 are:

  • Ensuring an ample supply of highly skilled medical professionals.
  • Strengthening grievance redress mechanisms.
  • Evaluating medical facilities to prevent a decline in standards.
  • Ensuring that medical practitioners value medical research and keep abreast of breakthroughs.
  • Implementing test series.

Renamed from Medical Council of India to National Medical Commission

  • In 2016, the NITI Aayog introduced a draft for a new National Medical Commission (NMC).
  • In 2017, the restructuring and reform of the MCI were addressed in a report as part of the Brookings India Impact Series.
  • In July 2017, the Supreme Court of India authorized the Central Government to replace the MCI and appointed a team of five specialized doctors to oversee the country’s medical education system.
  • The Central Information Commission found the MCI non-compliant in disclosing meeting notes and membership records related to the suspension of Desai in 2017, as well as refusing to provide qualifications of professors and doctors who inspected medical colleges for the MCI since 2013.
  • On September 26, 2018, the Indian government issued an ordinance to replace the MCI with a seven-member board of governors.
  • The National Medical Commission (NMC) was established to replace the MCI through a January 2019 ordinance signed by the President of India.
  • The National Medical Commission Bill was reintroduced in the Lok Sabha on July 22, 2019, and it passed both the Lok Sabha on July 30, 2019, and the Rajya Sabha on August 1, 2019.
  • The National Medical Commission Act, 2019, became effective on August 8, 2019.
  • On September 25, 2020, the MCI was dissolved and replaced by the National Medical Commission.

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What is the present name of Medical Council of India?

The NITI Aayog recommended the replacement of Medical Council of India (MCI) with National Medical Commission (NMC).

How can I join Medical Council of India?

Therefore, all the applicants who have taken and/or desire to take admission into MBBS or its equivalent course in a Medical University/Institution outside the country may apply for Eligibility Certificate to the Medical Council of India, New Delhi on the prescribed application Form No.

What is difference between NMC and MCI?

The current regulator is the Medical Council of India (MCI) which is an elected body where the President and members of the MCI are elected by medical practitioners themselves. The Bill replaces the MCI with the NMC which is not an elected body.

Is aiims under NMC?

The All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is a group of autonomous government public medical universities of higher education under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare , Government of India.

Who issues medical license in India?

The law, which came into effect May 1 1999, requires all newly graduated medical students to sit the National Medical Licensing Examination, regulated by the National Medical Examination Center, and then register with the local regulatory body.

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