Medical Council of India and its Role in Medical Education

Akansha Sirohi
Akansha SirohiPublished On: November 09, 2017
  • The Medical Council of India is the body that regulates the medical colleges and courses in order to maintain quality education.
  • The council has since long been regulating, approving and disapproving medical colleges and also proposed NEET.
Medical Council of India and its Role in Medical Education

Established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has played a pivotal role in structuring the medical education of the country. Higher education in the field of medicine is regulated largely by the Medical Council of India.

Be it the approval of medical colleges, courses or BDS and MBBS admissions, MCI’s opinion is often reflected in the ways in which the medical education is run in India. Apart from MBBS admissions and medical colleges, the Medical Council of India has also played an essential role in laying down the idea of NEET in December 2010.

It was the MCI that suggested setting up a common medical entrance exam (NEET) carefully detailing out the NEET eligibility criteria and NEET syllabus and exam pattern, and subjecting all medical admissions including those of reserved candidates to this exam. NEET was introduced by the Medical Council of India to eradicate corrupt practices and curb exploitation in the medical field. Over the years, the functions and objectives of MCI have changed according to the education requirements.

Objectives of Medical Council of India:

  • Conservation of uniform standards of higher education in the field of medicine at the undergraduate, as well as, postgraduate level.
  • Recommendation for recognition or de-recognition of medical colleges or medical qualifications provided by the Indian or any other foreign medical system.
  • Providing permanent registration or provisional registration of doctors who have pursued medical qualifications recognised by the MCI.
  • Reciprocating with foreign countries in order to establish means to provide mutual recognition of medical qualifications.

Role of Medical Council of India in NEET:

  • It was the MCI that first rolled out the idea of starting the NEET entrance exam as the mandatory selection criteria for admission to medical and dental colleges.
  • The council suggested that NEET should be introduced at both undergraduate as well as post-graduation to increase transparency in MBBS admissions.
  • It was the MCI that passed the regulation for a uniform medical entrance exam and said that the exam will be conducted in multiple languages as prescribed by the designated authorities (states).
  • The standards of admission under the all-India and state quota have also been drawn by the Medical Council of India.

MCI also suggested that there should be a common exit exam for all the medical students who are in the final year of their programme. This test was proposed to keep the quality of education under check and determine whether the candidates are eligible to practice the profession or not.

MCI Rules for NEET All-India and State Counselling:

To give the states governments and colleges the autonomy to conduct their own admissions, the Medical Council of India had also formed rules for the state level as well as all-India level counselling for MBBS and BDS courses.

According to the report of MCI, there are a total of 462 medical colleges offering 63,835 seats under NEET in India. 15% of these seats under MBBS and BDS are reserved for all-India quota, whereas, the remaining 85% seats are taken up by the state quota.

NEET All-India Quota:

  • A merit list is drawn by the CBSE on the basis of NEET result that comprises the name of candidates shortlisted for admissions under the 15% all-India quota.
  • The candidates shortlisted through the merit list are only eligible for the Online Counselling by the Medical Council Committee (MCC).
  • Seats under this quota are allotted on the basis of the order in which the names appear in the merit list through the centralized NEET counselling.

NEET State Quota:

  • The 85% seats reserved under the state quota are filled as per the reservation policy and eligibility criteria defined by the respective states or union territories.
  • The state directorates keep changing the policies according to their educational requirements and the same is notified by on their official websites.

There are still disputes regarding the state quota through NEET as Tamil Nadu has openly disputed against accepting NEET as a uniform exam for medical admissions in 2017. Students of the state stated that they were at a disadvantage while appearing for NEET as the exam is organized by CBSE, whereas, they had prepared for MBBS courses as per the guidelines of the state board.

Also Read:Top 20 Medical Colleges: Estimated NEET 2017 Cutoff, Opening & Closing Ranks

Medical Council of India as Regulator for Medical Colleges:

The Medical Council of India defines the regulations and standards basis which medical education is imparted at higher education institutes. Colleges failing to meet these standards and requirements are derecognized by the MCI. In 2017, MCI has derecognized various medical institutes in states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, etc.

The council has faced opposition regarding the same as the career of various students who were enrolled at these colleges was put at stake. However, MCI stated that these students will be moved to other colleges that have been approved by the MCI and follow the defined standards.

MCI has also warned the students against fraud institutes and has asked them to verify the recognition of the medical college prior to confirming admission and paying fees. Students can also check the list of medical colleges unapproved by MCI in order to confirm the approval of the college in question.

The Medical Council of India also exercises the power to cancel admission in medical colleges if the institute or candidates are found to have secured admission without a valid NEET score or by any other false means. Recently the MCI had cancelled more than 750 admissions in private medical colleges of Puducherry.

Scraping of the Medical Council of India:

In 2016, the HRD Ministry and NITI Aayog stated that MCI needs to be scraped keeping in mind the poor regulation of medical education in the country. Many experts also suggested that MCI needs an overhaul in order to improve the quality of medical education in the country.

Also Read:Higher Studies after MBBS: Career Options and Scope

The decision regarding scraping MCI has not been finalized yet. However, doing away with an old and established body like the MCI might affect the medical education of the country as its replacement will not only take time to grasp the system but will also struggle due to lack of experience.

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