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    Government sets up panel to revamp Central Council of Homoeopathy

    Government has set up a four-member panel headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya to suggest measures to revamp the Central Council of Homoeopathy. 

    "Central government has decided to set a committee headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya to restructure the homoeopathy education regulator CCH," a source said. 

    Recently, a similar panel headed by Panagariya submitted a report to restructure the Medical Council of India. 

    The other members of the committee are AYUSH Secretary Ajit M Sharan, NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant and Additional Principal Secretary in Prime Minister's Office P K Mishra. 

    In its efforts to streamline the functioning of the council and improve standards of education, government had introduced Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2005, in the Rajya Sabha in March 2005. 

    The bill was aimed at amending Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973, which provides for constitution of the CCH for regulation of educational standards of homoeopathic medical colleges, maintenance of the central register of practitioners of Homoeopathy, among others. 

    Last year in May, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health recommended that the AYUSH Department should bring forward the 2005 bill at the earliest to ensure proper functioning of the council. 

    The Standing Committee on Health, in its report on the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2005 submitted in July 2005, had said that each homoeopathic medical college should be affiliated to a university. 

    The panel was of the view that all homoeopathic medical colleges must take permission from the central government with one year of bill being passed. However, the bill had provided for a three year timeline for seeking permission. 

    It had noted that the council has members from each state with registered homoeopathic practitioners, a representative from each homoeopathic university, and centrally appointed members with specialised knowledge who comprise no more than 40 per cent of the council. 

    The bill had provided for a fixed term of five years and required the central government to reconstitute the council three months before the term's expiration. 

    The panel had supported fixed terms but recommended that the government should start elections six months prior to expiration. 

    Similarly, there were other provisions in the bill to enable the Centre to intervene when required in certain cases. The bill is still pending with the Rajya Sabha.

    Last year in May, government had introduced the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in the Rajya Sabha to enable the Centre to stop admissions in colleges. 

    The permission of the central government is mandatory for establishing new colleges or starting new courses of study. 

    The existing provision in the Homoeopathy Central Council Act does not enable the Centre to stop admissions in colleges which are not conforming to standards specified in the regulations. 

    The bill was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, which observed that conformation to prescribed standards of homoeopathy education has been compromised due to legal infirmities in the governing statute.

    The committee had recommended that "the oversight of maintenance of standards should be done with the utmost transparency and there should be a credible and vibrant appeal mechanism in place so that minor technical and procedural defaults are not made a basis for harassment and questionable practices and genuine grievances of homoeopathy medical institutions are addressed swiftly within set timelines.

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