Rajya Sabha Passes National Medical commission Bill

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  1. The Rajya Sabha has passed the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 which seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.
  2. If enacted, the current Medical Council of India would be replaced by a National Medical Commission.
  3. The Commission will have four autonomous boards: a) Undergraduate Medical Education Board, b) Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, c) Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and d) Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
  4. The commission will also be responsible for regulating fees and all other charges for half the seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.
  5. The bill proposes a common final year MBBS exam called National Exit Test (NEXT) to start medical practice. It will also be used for entrance into postgraduate medical courses, and act as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.
  6. The Bill proposes to unify all entrance procedures for medical courses. The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), common counselling and NEXT will be applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs) such as the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to ensure uniform standards.
  7. The bill also proposes to set up a Medical Advisory Council as a separate entity. It will serve as the primary platform through which the states will put forward their views and concerns before the NMC.
  8. The bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha with two new amendments introduced by the Upper House. Therefore, the bill will be referred to the Lok Sabha again before going to the President of India for his assent.