The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was publicized on April 24, 2020. This ordinance amends the Indian Medicine Central Council Act (CCIM), 1970. The CCIM is one of the professional council to keep a check upon the higher education in Indian systems of medicine including Siddha, Sowarigpa, Ayurveda, and Unani. This article discusses the new changes brought by the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.
By: J.Suparna Rao, 4th Year, BBA LL.B, Ramaiah Institute of Legal Studies, Bangalore.
The Indian Medicine Central Council Act was passed in 1970 and was brought into force in 1971. It is a statutory body which comes under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. It has the vision to regulate, develop, maintain, and sustain an excellent network and high standards of ‘Institutions of Excellence’ which meets the national needs for global trends. Its main function is to regulate the practice of the Indian System of Medicine. It establishes the guidelines for the institutions by making them available resources. It lays down rules for management, good governance, quality of academic study programs, and maintaining the standard of education. The Amendment had lapsed earlier in the 16th Lok Sabha session. President Ram Nath Kovind has publicized the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 in the exercise of powers conferred in him by Article 123(1) of the Indian Constitution.
To understand the changes brought by the Amendment, we must first understand the main functions of the Council-
1. The statutory body is dedicated to the growth of the Indian system of medicines and their development at national levels.
2. They will act as a supporting mechanism for the Universities and Research centres.
3. They will thrive to merge the efforts of people from various states and places in order to achieve new heights internationally.
4. It supervises the work of approved institutions, colleges, universities.
5. It thrives to maintain the standards of medical education for both undergraduate and postgraduate in the country.
6. The Board of Governors are vested with powers to create committees for better governance.
7. It maintains the record of registered doctors with recognized medical qualifications.
8. It recommends for the recognition or de-recognition of the medical qualifications of the medical institutes in the country and also for foreign countries.
The Amendment Act has added three sections to the original Act. They are namely, Section 3A, Section 3B, and Section 3C.
This section gives the Constitution of the Central Council. It regulates the number of members, the tenure of work, the qualification criteria, and appointment and nomination guidelines. The Amendment Act has added three Sections to it. They are discussed below-
1. It states that on and from the date of commencement of the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 the Central Council will be replaced and the President, Vice President, various other members of the council must vacate their offices and will have no claim for their compensation.
2. The reconstitution of the Central Council must be in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 within a period of 1 year from the date of supersession of the Central Council.
3. Until the new council is constituted, for time being Board of Governors shall exercise the powers and perform all functions of the Central Council as given under the Act.
4. The constitution of the Board of Governors shall be by notification in the Official Gazette by Central Government. The Board of Governors must not consist of more than 10 members. Such members must have unimpeachable integrity and dedication in the field of Indian Medicine and Indian Medicine Education. They may be eminent administrators, either nominated members or an ex-officio member appointed by the Central Government. Among such persons, only the chairperson of the Board will also be selected.
5. The Chairperson and other members who are not the ex-officio members are appointed by the Central Government shall be entitled to the sitting fee, traveling, and other allowances which may be determined by the Central Government.
6. The Board of Governors shall observe the rules regarding the transaction of business shall meet at the time and place according to the rules applicable to the Council.
7. The minimum of two-third of the members of the Board of Governors must constitute a quorum of its meetings.
8. The act or proceedings of the Board of Governors will not stand invalid merely for the reasons given below-
a) There is a vacancy or defect in the constitution of the Board members or
b) The irregularity in the act or proceedings of the Board of Governors not affecting the case or matter in hand.
9. If in any case, any of the members of the Board are having their financial or any other interest in any matter pending before the Board of Governors for the decision, must confess it before he is involved in the decision making process.
10. The members of the Board of Governors and the Chairperson can only hold the office during the pleasure of the Central Government.
The period during when the Central Council remains superseded or Outpace-
a) The provisions of Acts containing the word ‘Central Council’ shall be replaced with the words ‘Board of Governor’.
b) The Board of Governor shall have all the powers and can discharge functions which were earlier referred to ‘Central Council’ under this Act. The word ‘Central Council’ shall be replaced with the ‘Board of Governors’.
1. The Board of Governor or the Central Council while performing their functions shall be bound by the directions given in writing on the question of policy other than the matters of technical and administrative matters by the Central Government.
2. The decision of the Central Government on whether the directions given are the question of the policy shall be the final decision.
The Parliament approved the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 after the Rajya Sabha passed the measure by a voice note to supersede the Medical Council of India Act. So, now the Board of Governors are vested with the powers to exercise power and function of the Central Council as the statutory body. The Amendment was made to bring the transparency, maintain the quality, accountability, and with a hope that acts like corruption and poor administration can be stopped in the governance of medical education in the country.