Having cracked the whip on the scam-tainted Medical Council of India, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has urged the panel of doctors, which has replaced the body, to take transparent and corruption-free decisions.
In a letter to Dr S K Sarin, chairperson of the new board, Azad said the government appointed the board of governors to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the MCI after due deliberations. The selection of members was done keeping in view the eminence, honesty, integrity and standing of the doctors in the field of medicine, the letter dated June 2 said.
The minister said that the ordinance has given additional responsibility to the board of doctors to grant permission for the establishment of new medical colleges, opening new or higher courses of study and increasing the admission capacity in any course of study.
"One of the most important issues I would like to highlight, is that there are a large number of touts in the field of medical education who are being used by the managements of some interested institutions to get clearances for their colleges by illegal means. These touts collect money from interested institutions in the name of the government, office bearers and the members of the Medical Council of India thereby bringing a bad name to both the government and the Medical Council of India," he said.
He cautioned members of the newly-constituted board of governors that they have to be vigilant and keep their eyes open since every step taken by them is being watched by the entire country with high expectations.
"As the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, I would expect absolute transparency and corruption-free decisions by the board of governors headed by you. You will agree with me that the decisions to be taken by the board of governors should be free, fair and without fear," he said.
Azad said he has asked officials in his ministry to provide necessary support and assistance to the Council as and when required. "I would also like to make it clear that I have instructed the officials of the ministry not to interfere in the functioning of the board of governors," he added.
The Cabinet dissolved the MCI board on May 15 and replaced it by a six-member panel of doctors to be headed by Sarin.