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Draw of lots on Oct 14 to select NMC members: Harsh Vardhan

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(Eds: Updating with details) New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) A draw of lots will be held on October 14 to select members of the National Medical Commission (NMC) from the nominations sent by the state governments, union territories and state medical councils, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday. Once the NMC comes into being, the Medical Council of India (MCI) will automatically get dissolved and the nearly 63-year-old Indian Medical Council Act will stand abolished. The entire process of constituting NMC will be transparent and media persons will be invited to participate to the lottery, Vardhan said. The government in 2017 superseded the MCI and appointed a Board of Governors (BoG) to perform its functions. The NMC Act, which seeks to usher in mega reforms in the medical education sector, received the assent of the President on August 8. The Act provides for setting up of an NMC in place of the Medical Council of India for development and regulation of all aspects of medical education, profession and institutions. Several relevant sections of the Act came into force on September 2. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry wrote to all chief secretaries, home secretary (in UTs) and State Medical Councils, seeking nominations for selection of members to set up a Medical Advisory Council (MAC). "The MAC will be the larger body having representatives from all state governments and state medical councils and will be notified before October 14. The draw of lots will be held from the nominees of states and UTs in the Medical Advisory Council," Vardhan said. Seventy-two applications for NMC have been received for all posts including that of chairperson and members of NMC, presidents and members of autonomous boards, and secretary NMC. Besides, 22 state medical council nominations, and 23 VC nominations for the MAC have been received. In the meantime, the Board of Governors (MCI) has been requested to prepare draft guidelines for fee regulation, so that they can be used as a base document by NMC, said Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry Arun Singhal. Dismissing fears about NMC being dominated by central nominees, Vardhan had said there will be 10 vice-chancellors of state health universities and nine elected members of state medical councils in the NMC. "Thus 19 out of 33 members, which is more than half of the total strength, would be from states and only a minority of members will be appointed by the central government thereby ensuring NMC is representative, inclusive and respecting the federal structure of Indian polity," he had said. The NMC will have eminent medical personalities as members who will be appointed for only one term of four years and will not be eligible for any further extension. "They will have to declare their assets at the time of being appointed and again while demitting office," Vardhan had said. The members will also have to declare their professional and commercial engagement or involvement which will be published on the website of the Commission. PTI PLB ZMN

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