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The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019

On 7 January 2019, the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill - 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Ministry of State for AYUSH. The bill seeks to repal the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 and promotes a medical education system which ensures:
  • frequent assessment of medical institutions
  • an effective grievance redressal procedure.
  • promotion of the latest medical research by medical practitioner
  • availability of adequate and top-notch quality medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine,

Important provisions of the Bill include:

Constitution of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine The Bill provides for the establishment of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM). The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) will comprise total 29 members, appointed by the union government. A Search Committee will advise names to the central government for the post of Chairperson, part-time members, and presidents of the four autonomous (self-directed) boards set up under the NCISM. The Search Committee will comprise five members involving the Cabinet Secretary and three experts nominated by the central government.
Members of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) will include:
  • the Chairperson and the President of the Board of Ayurveda,
  • Joint Secretary in-charge of Ayurveda, Ministry of AYUSH,
  • the President of the Medical Assessment and Rating Board for Indian System of Medicine,
  • the head of the Board of Sowa-Rigpa, Siddha and Unani
  • three part-time members to be designated by the registered medical practitioners of Ayurveda, and one member each belongs to the particular registered medical practitioners of Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa from amongst themselves from the prescribed regional constituencies.
Next, within three years of the passage of the Bill, state governments will set-up State Medical Councils at the state level.
Functions of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine
  • structuring policies for regulating medical professionals and medical institutions of Indian System of Medicine
  • assessing the needs of healthcare related infrastructure and human resources,
  • ensuring coordination among the autonomous boards set up under the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill.
  • ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils (SMCs) of Indian System of Medicine of the regulations made under the Bill,
Autonomous boards The Bill institutes certain autonomous boards under the supervision of the NCISM. These boards are:
  • the Board of Ayurveda and the Board of Siddha, Sowa-Ripa and Unani:
    They will be accountable for formulating guidelines, curriculum and standards for setting up of medical institutions, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the graduate and post graduate levels in their respective fields,
  • the Rating Board and Medical Assessment for Indian System of Medicine:
    It determines the process of rating and assessment of medical institutions and have the authority to impose monetary penalties on institutions which fail to keep the minimum standards. It will also grant approval for establishing a new medical institution,
  • the Ethics and Medical Registration Board:
    It will maintain a National Register of all licensed medical experts of Indian System of Medicine, and regulate their professional conduct. Only those included in the Register will be permitted to practice Indian System of Medicine
Advisory Council for Indian System of Medicine Following the bill, the union government will form an Advisory Council for the Indian System of Medicine. The Council will be the key platform through which the states or union territories can advance their concerns and views before the NCISM. Besides, the Council will suggest the NCISM on measures to maintain and determine the minimum standards of medical education.
Entrance examinations There shall be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to under-graduate education in each of the disciplines of the Indian System of Medicine in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill. The Bill proposes a common final year National Exit Test for the students graduating from medical institutions to get the license for the practice. Additionally, there will be a uniform post-graduate National Entrance Test which will be conducted individually for admission into post-graduate courses in each of the disciplines of the Indian System of Medicine in all medical institutions.
The Bill proposes a National Teachers’ Eligibility Test for postgraduates of each discipline of Indian System of Medicine who wish to take up teaching that particular discipline as a profession.
The Indian system of medicine India has accepted six systems of medicine viz. Yoga, Homoeopathy, Unani, Siddha, Naturopathy, and Ayurveda. The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) was established on November 9, 2014, to ensure the development and spread of AYUSH systems of healthcare. In the past, it was known as the Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy which was formed in March 1995, and again in November 2003, it was renamed as Department of Yoga, Siddha, Naturopathy, Ayurvedic, Unani, and Homeopathy (AYUSH).