SPCSS-TN urges to withdraw NMC Bill 2017 and exemption from NEET

The State Platform for Common School System – Tamil Nadu (SPCSS-TN) has appealed the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to withdraw the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2017, introduced in the Lok Sabha and further hold elections for the Medical Council of India (MCI) immediately, according to The Hindu report. SPCSS-TN had also called for the withdrawal of the Indian Medical Council Amendment (Ordinance) 2018 and efforts to secure presidential assent for two bills passed by the Tamil Nadu government seeking exemption from NEET-based admissions to medical courses, noted the report.

In a memorandum addressed to the PM, SPCSS-TN General Secretary, PB Prince Gajendra Babu was quoted as saying by the report that since health was a state subject and medical education, a concurrent subject, the Union Government, through the NMC Bill, cannot seek to impose a legislation that would jeopardise Tamil Nadu’s public health system. Underscoring that there were a large number of states and UTs would remain unrepresented in the proposed NMC, Babu said that this was against the national spirit of the Constitution. The NMC Bill suggests that the final MBBS examination is conducted as a standard national examination and serve as an exit test called the National Exit Test.

Case-specific evaluation

Emphasising the flawed nature of this proposal, Babu drew attention to the fact that while the curriculum and syllabus of medical varsities could be the same, the emphasis for some diseases might as well be more as per the local needs and state-specific health issues. The evaluation would also differ in each varsity; the report pointed out.

“The evaluation in medical education is based on the local health issues and to find out whether the student was able to learn how to address such problems. The question paper will contain case-specific questions. In an all India question paper, specific health issues of all states cannot be covered. Furthermore, an all-India examination in medical education is highly impractical, unprofessional and is ill-advised based on misconceived notions sans basic knowledge of the geo-social condition of a nation as diverse as India, the memorandum said.

“If only one national examination can produce quality doctors pan India, ultimately, no separate varsity will be required, Babu said and added that the Union Government could not usurp the state’s powers in the guise of producing quality doctors. Opposing the Indian Medical Council Amendment Ordinance, Babu said that the need of the hour was to strengthen the MCI instead of dissolving the same.

Image source:Jonah Pettrich

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