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The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021

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Indian system of medicine bill - LAW INSIDER

By Khushi Agarwal

Published on : August 26, 2021 13:23 IST

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was cleared both by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Introduced on 9 August 2021, it was passed by the Lok Sabha on 10 August 2021 and on the very next day, that is, 11 August 2021, it was cleared by the Rajya Sabha also.

The Bill seeks to amend the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020. The move was made by Sri Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of AYUSH. Besides this, on the days the National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was also cleared by both the houses.

What is the Amendment?

As per the Bill, Section 58 of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 is being amended. A new sub-section (5) is added after the sub-section (4) of the Act. The sub-section states,

“Notwithstanding the expiration of the period for reconstitution of the Central Council under section 3A of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970, as inserted by the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Act, 2020, all acts done by the Board of Governors constituted under sub-section (4) of that section and all the powers and functions of the Central Council exercised and performed by it under the repealed Act, as amended by the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, immediately before the commencement of this Act, shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the provisions of this Act and shall continue in force accordingly unless and until superseded by anything done or by any action taken under this Act”.

In order to save all the actions taken by the Board of Governors under the Ordinance till the date of its repeal, this amendment was brought. Therefore, according to this amendment, immediately before the commencement of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020, all the acts and all the powers and functions performed by the Board of Governors of the Central Council under the repealed Act, shall be deemed to have been done under that Act and will proceed in power except if and until supplanted by anything done or any activity taken under that Act.

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 was brought with a view to replace the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. The Central Council of Indian Medicine was set up by the 1970 Act to regulate the education and practice of the Indian Medicine.

The National Commission was set up in place of the Central Council by the 2020 Act to regulate education and practice of the Indian Medicine. However, the 1970 Act was not immediately repealed due to delay in the setting up of the National Commission.

However, as constitution of the National Commission was taking time, in the meantime, an amendment came in the 1970 Act for reconstituting the Central Council which was meant to be completed within one year of such amendment notification. But later in April, 2021 the time period was extended from one year to two years.

Also, the amendment gave the Central Council’s power to the body set by the Central Government called the Board of Governors till the time it is reconstituted. Although the period was extended to two years, the constitution of the National Commission was completed on 11 June 2021 which was meant to replace the 1970 Act and thereby finally repealing the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.

The National Commission was set up as a body corporate having perpetual Succession and a common seal which can on its own name sue and be sued. As per Section 4 of the Act, the body would be having 29 members namely, a Chairperson, twelve ex-officio members and sixteen part time members.

The Commission has been organized to smooth out the capacities identified with scholarly guidelines, assessment, appraisal and accreditation of instructive establishments relating to Indian System of Medicine. The Commission will advance accessibility of reasonable medical care benefits in all pieces of the country.

Tenure of each post would be four years and the head office of the Commission will be in New Delhi as stated in the Act. The functions of the Commission include:

  • Set down arrangements for keeping top notch lot principles in instruction of Indian System of Medicine and make important guidelines for this benefit;
  • Set down arrangements for managing clinical foundations, clinical explores and clinical experts and make important guidelines for this benefit;
  • Evaluate the necessities in medical care, including HR for wellbeing and medical care foundation and foster a guide for meeting such prerequisites;
  • Framing guidelines and principles for proper functioning of:
  • The Commission, 
  • The Autonomous Boards and 
  • The State Medical Councils of Indian System of Medicine
  • Ensuring coordination amongst the Autonomous Boards and exercising the appellate jurisdiction in matters related to Autonomous Boards, etc.

The Central Council of Indian Medicine

This Council, that is, The Central Council of Indian Medicine was set up under the 1970 Act as a Statutory Act. It was set up by the Government of India by the Ministry of AYUSH. The provisions for constituting the Central Council were provided in Section 3 of the 1970 Act.

As per Section 3 of the Act, the Council may contain a maximum of five members but not exceeding that to be appointed by the Central Government. There should be at least one member each for Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems of medicine.

Members of the Central Council shall elect the President of the Council and there shall be a Vice-President for each of the Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems of medicine who shall be elected from amongst the members representing that system of medicine.

The tenure of the President was five years from the date of his nomination. A person can be a member of the council only if that person possesses the required medical qualifications. A person can only serve one position at a time and was not allowed to serve as a member in more than one capacity.

As per Section 6 of the Act, the Central Council was also constituted as a body corporate to be called by the name Central Council of Indian Medicine having perpetual succession and a common seal. The body had the power to make contracts on its name, hold and dispose of the property and also to sue and be sued in its own name.

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 was the Bill that sought to repeal the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. As per the Bill, the National Commission for Indian Medicine was to be constituted by the Central Government.

Other than this, different boards were also required to be constituted such as Medical Assessment and Rating Board for Indian System of Medicine, Board of Ayurveda and the Board of Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa, etc.

The Bill also said that there will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate schooling in every one of the disciplines of the Indian System of Medicine in all clinical organizations directed by the Bill.

The Bill likewise proposes a National Teachers’ Eligibility Test for postgraduates of each discipline of Indian System of Medicine who wish to take up instructing that specific discipline as a calling. Besides this, the State Governments were required to establish State Medical Councils for Indian System of Medicine at state levels within the passage of three years of the Bill.

The National Commission for Homeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The National Commission for Homeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was also passed from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on the same day as that of The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

This Bill aims to amend the National Commission for Homeopathy Act, 2020 to provide a medical education system that can improve the access to quality medical education. The foremost Act with respect to the Homeopathy was Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 which was replaced by this 2020 Act.

The Central Council for Homeopathy was being set up under the 1973 Act for providing for regulating education and practice in the field of homeopathic. This Central Council was replaced by the National Commission by the new Act for increasing the transparency and accountability in education.

Conclusion

Therefore, to conclude, the amendment has been brought to save all the actions taken and decisions made and also the liabilities incurred by the Board of Governors under the ordinance till the National Commission under the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 was constituted.

As soon as the Bill will receive the President’s assent, The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 will be amended and the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Act, 2021 will come into force.

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