The Medical Council of India (MCI) was set up in 1956, and has not revised its curriculum since then. It has now begun a comprehensive revision of the medical education curriculum in the country.
An expert committee of the MCI is now looking at incorporating the latest technology in medicine and teaching in subjects such as anatomy, pathology and biochemistry at the MBBS level and introduction of new specialties and super-specialties for postgraduation and beyond.
The new specialties considered include allergy medicine, paediatric neurology and marine medicine. The renewed courses at PG and Ph.D levels will keep in mind the the disease profile of India and the gaps in the present system.
The medical education regulator is also keen to revive the lost institution of general practitioner by starting a postgraduate course to train general physicians.
Work on finalising the new curriculum and new courses is in the final stages. For the first time, the council is also planning to obtain a copyright for the curriculum - a process it hopes to complete by June 2015.
The curriculum will then be distributed to medical colleges, which will be required to conduct teachers' training for the next one year so that by the 2016 session, medical undergraduates can move away from the 58-year-old curriculum.
The module on medical ethics will be expanded, making it one of the cornerstones of the syllabus. This, the MCI hopes, will go some distance in reducing medical malpractices.