Introduction: The National Medical Commission (NMC) has issued the “Maintenance of Standards of Medical Education Regulations, 2023” to uphold the quality and standards of medical education in India. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of these regulations, including their purpose, implementation, and consequences for non-compliance.
Short Title: These regulations are officially titled the “Maintenance of Standards of Medical Education Regulations, 2023,” abbreviated as MSMER-2023.
Commencement: The regulations will come into effect from 21st September 2023.
Definitions: Several critical terms are defined within the regulations, including “Act,” “Commission,” “Evaluation,” “MARB,” “Medical College or Medical Institution,” “MSR,” “PGMEB,” “UGMEB,” and “EMRB.”
Mandate of Annual Disclosure: Medical colleges or institutions must submit an Annual Disclosure Report, complying with MSRs and NMC regulations. The report may be subject to additional information requests.
Evaluation of Report: The respective boards (PGMEB or UGMEB) evaluate the report, considering factors such as infrastructure, faculty, clinical material, teaching methodologies, and more. Additional information may be requested.
Joint or Independent Evaluation: Other boards may independently evaluate the report, and the results must be shared with all relevant boards and NMC. Remedial measures may be imposed as needed.
Consequence of Compliance: Successful compliance results in the renewal of course admissions for the next academic year. Non-compliance may lead to penalties and other actions.
Penalties: The regulations outline various penalties for non-compliance, including warnings, monetary fines, withholding accreditation, reducing student intake, and recommending withdrawal of permission. Individuals submitting false information may also face penalties.
Appeal to NMC: Medical institutions or aggrieved parties can file an appeal with the NMC against any order within sixty days.
Appeal to the Central Government: If dissatisfied with the NMC’s decision or its delay, a second appeal can be made to the Central Government within thirty days. The Central Government’s decision is final.
Conclusion: The “Maintenance of Standards of Medical Education Regulations, 2023” issued by the National Medical Commission aims to ensure high-quality medical education in India. These regulations establish a comprehensive framework for annual disclosure, evaluation, penalties, and appeals, emphasizing compliance and accountability within the medical education sector. Adhering to these regulations is essential for medical colleges and institutions to maintain their accreditation and continue admitting students. Failure to comply may result in significant penalties and even criminal proceedings. It is imperative for all stakeholders in medical education to understand and adhere to these regulations to uphold the standards of medical education in India.
NATIONAL MEDICAL COMMISSION
New Delhi, the 19th September, 2023
MAINTENANCE OF STANDARDS OF MEDICAL EDUCATION REGULATIONS, 2023
F.No. N-P016/1/2023-PGMEB-NMC.—exercise of overall powers conferred by the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 and particularly by sections 10, 24, 25 and 57 of the said Act, National Medical Commission makes the following Regulations to ensure smooth compliance with its functions in general and particularly to maintain a high quality and high standards in medical education.
CHAPTER I – PRELIMINARY
1. Short Title – These Regulations may be called the “Maintenance of Standards of Medical Education Regulations, 2023”. In short, these regulations will be called MSMER-2023.
2. Commencement – These Regulations shall come into force from the date of their publication in the official gazette.
3. Definitions – In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires the terms defined herein shall bear the meaning assigned to them below and their cognate expressions and variations shall be construed accordingly –
a. “Act” shall mean National Medical Commission Act, 2019 [Act No. 30 of 2019].
b. “Commission” shall mean the National Medical Commission duly established under Section 3 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019.
c. “Evaluation” shall mean the expression or activity of ‘Evaluation/inspection’ which shall include virtual and/or physical inspection.
d. “MARB” shall mean the Medical Assessment and Rating Board constituted under Section 16 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019.
e. “Medical College or Medical Institution” – unless the context otherwise requires, shall mean any college or by whatever name called, in which a person may undergo a course of study or training which will qualify him for the award of any recognized graduate or post-graduate medical qualification.
f. “MSR” shall mean the Minimum Standards Requirements as notified by the Post Graduate Medical Education Board or Under Graduate Medical Education Board as such or by way of guidelines and which shall also include, explanatory notes, circulars, advisories, etc., issued from time to time.
g. “PGMEB” – refers to Post Graduate Medical Education Board constituted under Section 16 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019.
h. “UGMEB”– refers to Undergraduate Medical Education Board constituted under Section 16 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019.
i. “EMRB”– refers to Ethics and Medical Registration Board constituted under Section 16 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019.
CHAPTER II – ANNUAL DISCLOSURE REPORT AND ITS EVALUATION
4. Mandate of Annual Disclosure
1) After its establishment, the medical college or medical institution is obligated to furnish an Annual Disclosure Report to the corresponding Board, satisfying such conditions provided under the notified MSRs by UGMEB or PGMEB and regulations of NMC, as the case may be.
2) Without prejudice to anything stated above, the concerned Board may seek such additional information with regard to the Annual Disclosure Report, as and when deemed necessary for their assessment and otherwise from the concerned medical institution or concerned agencies having or exercising control over that medical college or medical institution.
3) It shall be the duty of the medical college or medical institution or the concerned agency or agencies exercising control over such medical college or medical institution to furnish the information (including additional information) to the concerned Board in the prescribed mode.
5. Evaluation of Report
1) Keeping in mind the overall objectives of the Act, the respective Board (PGMEB or UGMEB) may undertake the evaluation of the Annual Disclosure Report for verifying whether the medical college or medical institution fulfils the required conditions prescribed by way of MSRs or NMC Regulations as the case may be, which shall include –
i. verification of physical infrastructure;
ii. availability of required number of qualified faculty for actual teaching and research and to undertake necessary student learning activities on a regular and continued basis;
iii. availability of adequate clinical material in terms of number of patients of different specialties, variety of patients to fulfil all round training of students, number of variety of procedures, surgeries, laboratory investigations, radiological investigations and other relevant investigations;
iv. assessment of the teaching methodology adopted;
v. the methods and modes of assessment, grading of the students;
vi. review of feedback from students;
vii. other parameters related to standards of medical education that may be added from time to time by the respective boards or NMC.
2) Without prejudice to (1) above or elsewhere in these Regulations, at its sole discretion, the respective Board may seek any additional information or clarification or additional documents etc., from the medical college or medical institution while considering the Annual Disclosure Report referred above.
3) The Medical College shall furnish such information or clarification or additional documents, etc., sought under sub-section (2) above at the earliest but not later than 30 days from the date of receipt of communication from the respective Board or such additional time to be provided by the respective Board on specific request from the applicant in that regard. Provided, the medical college or medical institution shall adhere to the prescribed format or pro-forma, while furnishing of information or clarification or additional documents etc., as required by the concerned Board.
4) If the applicant fails to submit such information or clarify or provide additional documents etc., as mandated by the respective Board within such prescribed time including any additional time provided by the respective Board, shall be deemed as non-compliance with the Regulations and shall attract penalty.
6. Joint or Independent Evaluation
1) Notwithstanding anything stated elsewhere in these Regulations, any of the Board (other than corresponding Board) individually or collectively, may cause to evaluate the accuracy and/or truth and/or veracity of the averments made out in the Annual Disclosure Report from the medical college or medical institution.
2) When such evaluation as enumerated under sub-section (1) is undertaken, it shall be the duty of the concerned medical college or medical institution to provide all necessary support to the concerned Board or Boards as the case may be, in their course of evaluation, which shall also include disclosure of documents, providing additional evidence as the case may be, providing oral statements etc.
3) Without prejudice to anything stated above, the concerned Board or Boards conducting evaluation under this provision, shall mandatorily share such conduct of an evaluation and its outcome to other Boards and NMC at the earliest but not exceeding seven days.
4) After such inspection under this Regulation, if the concerned Board or Boards contemplate any remedial measure or action etc., such measure or action shall be intimated to the medical college or medical institution, through the concerned Board (UGMEB or PGMEB). Provided it shall be the administrative responsibility of the concerned Board to oversee that such measure or action intimated are duly complied with by the medical college or medical institution.
7. Consequence of Compliance
1) If the medical college or medical institution is found to be successfully meeting requirements as prescribed for the UGMEB or PGMEB as the case may be, the concerned Board shall provide a renewal certificate for continuation of the course/s and admission of students thereof for the next/ coming Academic Year.
2) Any deficiency noted will attract penalties with or without the decision above.
CHAPTER III – PENALTIES
1) Where the respective Board has reason to believe that a medical institution has failed to comply with any statutory provision, regulations framed thereunder or has not complied with the Minimum Standards of Requirements as prescribed by their respective Boards, or has conducted themselves in any manner which is not in accordance with the goals of medical education and practice, the Board shall either penalize the medical college or medical institution and /or conduct further enquiry into such act and wherever needed provide an opportunity to rectify the same.
2) Without prejudice to anything stated at Section 8.1 above, the imposition of the penalty may include one/more/ all of the following –
a. Issuance of warning with direction to rectify/comply, as the case may be, by the medical institution;
b. Monetary penalty not exceeding INR one crore per violation or act of omission by the medical institution;
c. Monetary penalty not exceeding Rupees five lakh for the faculty/Head of the Department (HoD)/ Dean/Director/doctor submitting false declaration/documents/records (including patients’ records). Further, they can also be charged or penalized for misconduct under the Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional Conduct) Regulations in vogue.
d. Withholding the accreditation process;
e. recommending to MARB for withholding processing of application(s) for any new course including increase of seats in the existing course for that academic year or for such number of years.
f. Reducing the number of students in the next or subsequent academic years to be admitted by the medical institution;
g. Stoppage of admission to one or more of the courses in the next or subsequent academic years.
h. Recommending to NMC for withdrawal of permission;
i. Withholding and withdrawal of accreditation for a period up to five academic years.
j. Any attempt to pressurize UGMEB, PGMEB or NMC through individuals or agency will lead to immediate halt of the processing of all applications/requests by the medical institution.
Provided that the medical institution, may be granted a reasonable opportunity to rectify the deficiencies and any further action shall be taken if it fails to meet the requisite norms.
Provided further that, the UGMEB, PGMEB or the NMC may also initiate criminal proceedings for furnishing false information, or fabrication of false documents as per the criminal law in force at that time.
CHAPTER IV –APPEALS
9. Appeal to NMC
A medical college or medical institution or any such aggrieved person may file an appeal before the Commission with an appropriate fee as specified against any order.
Provided, such an appeal is filed within sixty days of passing of such an order or lapse of time, as the case may be.
10. Appeal to the Central Government
Where an applicant/ medical college or medical institution is aggrieved by the decision of the Commission or where the Commission fails to give its decision within forty-five days from the date of receipt of such an appeal, a second appeal may be filed before the Central Government within thirty days from the date of such order or lapse of time, as the case may be.
The decision of the Central Government in this regard shall be final.
Dr. VIPUL AGGARWAL, Secy.
Note: These Regulations are being published in English and Hindi, the English version shall prevail in case of any doubt about the interpretation of these Regulations.