India’s apex medical education regulatory body, the National Medical Commission (NMC), has announced it will no longer be associated with the prestigious Dr B C Roy National Award. It has also announced its disassociation with the Silver Jubilee Research Award and Hari Om Ashram Alembic Research Award. The decisions were taken following discussions in a meeting chaired by the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on September 26 and another meeting chaired by the Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar on October 7.
The NMC’s decision has not gone down well with the doctors. Dr Rohan Krishnan, President of the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), tweeted, “It’s sad that the contributions of Dr BC Roy are not being honoured by NMC and the contributions of doctors are not being acknowledged by the Health Ministry.” “It is very sad that this highest order of award of medical research and excellence given by the President is been withdrawn!” he said.
The move by the NMC comes two months after the Centre decided to reduce the number of awards and fellowships given to medical researchers and scientists. “It has been decided that the National Medical Commission will no longer be associated with the following awards and the Societies associated with these awards- Dr B C Roy National Award, Silver Jubilee Research Award and Hari Om Ashram Alembic Research Award,” said Ashok Kumar, Deputy Secretary, NMC, in a letter on November 9.
The Health Ministry had earlier this year agreed to restart the Dr B C Roy National Award to which the Indian Medical Association had said, “With the constant persuasion of the Indian Medical Association, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has finally agreed to restart the process of conferment of Dr B C Roy Memorial Award ceremoniously, which was pending since last four years. Hopefully, a large number of deserving doctors will be benefitted from this.