Health Ministry is expected to get it cleared at Cabinet meeting today

The government is likely to issue an ordinance to extend the term of the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI) by six months. The existing ordinance lapsed earlier this week as the bill to replace it could not be taken up in the just concluded Monsoon session of Parliament.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is expected to get the ordinance cleared at a Cabinet meeting on Friday. It will come into force with retrospective from May 14 and the Ministry hopes that it will be able to elect a fresh council, including president, by November 14 when the ordinance ceases to exist.

In all probability, the Ministry is unlikely to change the existing seven members of the Board, which is chaired by the former Director General of Health Services, R.K. Srivastava.

Sources in the Ministry told The Hindu that the process of electing members to the council had begun. A rough estimate by the Ministry suggests that 125 members of State Medical Councils, universities, State governments and Central government nominees will be in place by then to elect among themselves president, vice-president, and a 12-member executive committee.

The MCI, when fully constituted, will have 28 members, one from each State; one from the Union Territories by rotation; one from each university to be elected by the Senate among medical faculty adding up to 40; one representative from every 10 medical colleges from 13 health universities and if the number of colleges is below 10, then one representative from each Health University which will be 26; 22 members from as many State Medical Councils; and eight nominees of the Central government.

It is not mandatory that all members should have been elected by November. Elections can be held with the number of people elected to the Council, even if it is less than 125.

The MCI was dissolved in 2010 after the arrest of its president, Ketan Desai, by the CBI on charges of graft. It was then replaced by the Board of Governors through an ordinance.

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