NO Recognition To PGDCC Despite NMC Reconsideration: Health Minister
New Delhi: Even after re-consideration, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has denied permitting recognition to the Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Cardiology (PGDCC) degree awarded by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in between 2006 to 2013, Minister of Health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar has recently informed the Parliament.
"After the constitution of the National Medical Commission (NMC), NMC in their meeting held on 16.03.2021 re-considered the matter and unanimously resolved that the PGDCC qualification awarded by IGNOU from 2006 to 2013 cannot be recognized," clarified the Minister of State, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) on August 6, during the Lok Sabha session.
The Minister was replying to a series of questions related to the PGDCC degree as awarded by IGNOU. Shri. N. K. Premachandran addressed the issue of difficulties faced by the PGDCC degree holders due to the delay in approval from the Apex medical body NMC. He also sought to know the details of the Delhi High Court order in this regard and if the Government could overrun the decisions taken by NMC.
PGDCC course was commenced, in 2006, by the IGNOU, to develop a cadre of non-interventional cardiologists, and involved a "two-year full-time rigorous training in top cardiac hospitals in the country". In order to be eligible to apply for the PGDCC course, a candidate was required to have an MBBS degree.
Responding to these questions, Minister Pawar informed the Parliament that High Court of Delhi in order dated 17.09.2019 directed the Central Government to consider afresh the application of IGNOU) for grant of recognition to the PGDCC qualification.
"Accordingly, the application dated 04.11.2019 of IGNOU was considered by the erstwhile BoG-MCI in its meeting dated 18.12.2019 and decided not to recognize the PGDCC course of IGNOU," informed the Minister.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that despite thousands of candidates clearing the course from the year 2006 to 2013, MCI had noted that the IGNOU had commenced the PGDCC course in blatant violation of the applicable rules and regulations of medical education and that, therefore, there could be no question of according any recognition to the said course.
Seeking Respite in the matter, Association of Clinical Cardiologists, an association of more than 1500 PGDCC candidates approached the Delhi High court seeking relief. The court after going through detailed arguments asked IGNOU to reply to MCI for recognition and MCI to reconsider the matter.
The matter was brought up in December 2019 meeting of the MCI Board of Governors whereby The Board of Governors perused the letter dated 18.11.2019 of the Central Government by which the application dated bearing reference IGNOU/SOHS/D/ 2019/6109 dated 04.11.19 made by Director, School of Health Sciences (SOHS), IGNOU to the Central Government seeking recognition of Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Cardiology (PGDCC) Degree offered by IGNOU from 2006 -2013 has been forwarded for furnishing considered views/recommendations to the Ministry.
The Medical Council of India Board of Governors considered the application and discussed in detail the matter pertaining to the recognition of IGNOU PGDCC and decided that PGDCC programme offered by IGNOU cannot be recommended for inclusion in the First Schedule of the IMC Act, 1956 for batches admitted from 2006 to 2013 admission cycle.
Minister Pawar has recently informed the Lok Sabha that the matter had been reconsidered by the NMC. However, NMC agreed with the earlier decision and denied granting recognition for the said course.
"After the constitution of the National Medical Commission(NMC), the NMC in their meeting held on 16.03.2021 re-considered the matter and unanimously resolved that the PGDCC qualification awarded by IGNOU from 2006 to 2013 cannot be recognized," she further stated.
Besides, the Minister also addressed the question of the Government could overrun the decision taken by NMC. In this context, Minister Pawar clarified, "Further, the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 under Section 35(5) provides for appeal to NMC within the specified time against the decision of Boards for not granting recognition to a medical qualification. Also Section 35(7) of the Act, has a provision of second appeal to the Central Government within the specified time against the decision of the Commission."
It should be mentioned in this context that the Apex medical education regulatory body, NMC in its recent Draft Regulations for PG Medical Education has put an end to the medical postgraduate diploma (PG diploma) courses altogether.
The Draft Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations 2021 clearly specify that no new PG Diploma courses shall be permitted from the year 2021 onwards. Section 19 of the Guidelines has mentioned, "No new Diploma courses shall be permitted from 2021 onwards. All the Rules and Regulations of erstwhile MCI regarding existing Diploma courses shall be applicable till all the Diploma courses are phased out and the last Diploma candidate has cleared the examination."