Fresh ordinance on MCI board

With the government failing to bring the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill (that proposed to reconstitute the elected body of the Medical Council of India) for debate during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, the Union health ministry will bring an ordinance for the fourth time for the reconstitution of the regulatory body, which has been running without the force of law as the existing ordinance lapsed earlier this week. Article 123 of the Constitution says any ordinance that fails to be ratified by both Houses within six weeks from the date of the commencement of the session automatically lapses. The said ordinance lapsed on September 16.
The ministry proposes to bring the ordinance before the Cabinet on Friday. With the ordinance the ministry has introduced a provision to extend the tenure of the existing seven-member board of governors headed by the former DGHS, Dr R.K. Srivastava.
It is learnt that while the proposed bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha with an intention to initiate the election process and restore the elected body of the MCI, it could not be brought for debate and approval as political parties like SP, BSP and the DMK were not convinced about the proposed bill. Sources said the government will continue with the arrangement of the board of governors manning the regulatory body till November 12.
The proposed bill seeks to bring about changes requiring the government to act in cases of serious charges against MCI office-bearers. It proposes to fix the tenure of the president of the elected-body of MCI to a maximum of four years and restrict it to two continuous terms only. Earlier, the president could have a five-year tenure and there was no limit on the total number of terms. Under the present law the government had no control over the elected body of the MCI.

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