The National Board of Examinations (NBE) will be disbanded and a new council for paramedics will be constituted, as per the proposed National Commission for Human Resources for Health (NCHRH) Bill, 2010.
According to the final draft of the Bill, the National Board of Examinations, established in 1860, will be dissolved and its functions taken over by the National Board for Health Education (NBHE) to be set up under the proposed law.
The new Board will have a president, two full-time and four part-time members appointed by the Centre on the recommendations of a search-cum-selection committee.
The NBHE will promote academic studies and research in emerging areas of health education with a focus on professional health education, and ensure uniform augmentation of trained specialists and super specialists.
The draft said the Board will determine, coordinate and maintain standards for health education and research; specify minimum requirements in terms of faculty, infrastructure and clinical workload for establishment of institutions for the discipline of health; lay down curricula for examinations; design and approve new courses of study on the recommendations of the institutes, hospitals and universities; undertake faculty development programmes; specify the schedule of admission for various courses; and importantly, conduct examinations for all under-graduate, post-graduate, doctoral, post-doctoral and diploma courses, fellowship programmes and screening tests.
It will specify parameters defining the equivalence between academic qualifications granted by different health institutions in India and abroad and lay down norms and mechanisms for transparent, efficient and accountable governance in a health university or higher health educational institution.
At the same time, it will approve and notify standards of academic quality for accreditation and benchmarking of education in recognised health institutions.
The NBHE has also been vested with promotion of autonomy of health institutions to facilitate the pursuit of knowledge and innovation, development of curricular framework with specific reference to new, emerging or inter-disciplinary fields of knowledge, and taking measures to enhance access to health education.
The Bill also provides for the setting up of a paramedical council on the lines of the existing councils such as the Medical Council of India, the Dental Council of India, the Nursing Council of India and the Pharmacy Council of India.
However, the councils — at both National and State levels — will maintain registers of health professionals that will make them eligible to practice, and grant permission to those wanting to go abroad for studies or employment.
The councils will define “professional misconduct” and specify punishments for code of conduct violations.
Importantly, the Centre will have the powers to supersede the NCHRH and all bodies under it, if necessary, in “public interest”.