The chief of Delhi AIIMS' ENT head-neck surgery department, Professor Suresh Chandra Sharma, was on Thursday appointed the chairman of National Medical Commission, the new medical education regulator to replace scam-tainted Medical Council of India, according to a Personnel Ministry order.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Sharma for a period of three years or till the age of 70 years, it said.
Rakesh Kumar Vats, the secretary general in the board of governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI), has been appointed as the secretary of the Commission for the similar term.
President Ram Nath Kovind had on August 8 given assent to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019, which provides for a system that improves access to quality and affordable medical education and ensures availability of adequate and high quality medical professionals in all parts of the country, among others.
The new law 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.
The president had dissolved the MCI in 2018 and a Board of Governors was appointed to perform its functions.
At least 72 applications for NMC were received by the central government.
On the dissolution of the MCI, the person appointed as its chairman and others appointed as the member, any officer and other employee of the Council shall immediately vacate their respective offices, according to the provision of the NMC Act.
The Commission can have a chairperson, 10 ex-officio members and 22 part-time members, according to the law.
Amid allegations of corruption against MCI office bearers and probes into opaque accreditation to medical colleges, the Supreme Court had in May 2016 directed the government to set up a committee with the authority to oversee all statutory functions of MCI till the new legislation comes in.
Many of MCI members have been accused of taking bribes to fast-track accreditation. There have been allegations of corruption in granting different kinds of permission by the council to medical colleges across the country, officials said.