National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 will replace the existing Medical Council Act, 1956. At present, the Medical Council of India (MCI) gives permission for the establishment and recognition of medical colleges, renews their licenses and approves increases in intake of students. Once the new Bill is implemented, colleges do not need to renew licences, and can increase student intake on their own.

The salient features of the Bill are:

1. The bill seeks to replace the Medical Council of India with National Medical Commission as top regulator of medical education in India.
2. The bill also seeks to put in place a common entrance exam and licentiate exam, which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practising licences.
3. It would also put in place a four-tier structure for the regulation of medical education. The 20 members National Medical Commission will be at the top of this structure.
4. NMC will be a 20 member body comprising a Chairperson, a member secretary, eight ex-officio members and 10 part-time members.
5. Out of the 8 ex-officio members, four shall be presidents of the boards constituted under the act and remaining four shall be nominees from three ministries viz. Health, Pharmaceuticals, HRD and one from Director General of Health Services.
6. The bill also has a provision for a common entrance exam and licentiate (exit) exam that medical graduates have to pass before practising or pursuing PG courses. For MBBS, students have to clear NEET, and before they step into practice, they must pass the exit exam.
7. The NMC can permit a medical professional to perform surgery or practise medicine without qualifying the National Licentiate Examination, in circumstances that may be specified in regulations.
8. According to the NMC Bill, the Ethics and Medical Registration Board can maintain a separate national register that would have the names of licensed AYUSH practitioners. The names of graduates of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery and Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery are already registered with their respective councils and on taking the bridge course they would be incorporated in a separate register maintained by the NMC, resulting in dual registration with two councils, which is neither open nor permissible.
9. The government, under the National Medical Commission (NMC), can dictate guidelines for fees up to 40% of seats in private medical colleges. This is aimed at giving students relief from the exorbitant fees charged by these colleges and is a standout feature of the bill.

Practice question:

1. The Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC). Which of the following will be the members of it?
1. The Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research
2. The Director General of Health Services
3. Union Health Minister


a) Only 1

b) 1 and 2

c) 2 and 3

d) All

Ans: b
Exp: Members of the NMC will include: (i) the Chairperson, (ii) the President of the Under-Graduate Medical Education Board, (iii) the President of the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, (iv) the Director General of Health Services, Directorate General of Health Services, (v) the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, and (vi) five members (part-time) to be elected by the registered medical practitioners from amongst themselves from the prescribed regional constituencies under the Bill.