Cabinet approves certain official amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill
- The Government has considered the recommendations made by the Standing Committee in its report to the parliament.
The Amendments include:
- Final MBBS Examination to be held as a common exam across the country and would serve as an exit test called the National Exit Test (NEXT).
- Provision of Bridge course for AYUSH practitioners to practice modern medicine removed.
- Fee regulation for 50% seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities.
- Monetary penalty for a medical college non-compliant with the norms replaced with provision for different penalty options
- The punishment for any unauthorized practice of medicine has been made severe by including a provision for imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine extending up to Rs. 5 lakhs.
Cabinet approves Export of all edible oils in bulk
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of Ministry of Commerce & Industry for removal of prohibition on export of all varieties of edible oils except mustard oil.
- Mustard oil will continue to be exported only in consumer packs upto 5 Kgs and with a minimum export price of US $ 900 per tonne.
- Removing of restrictions on export of all edible oils is likely to provide additional marketing avenues for edible oils and oilseeds and will benefit the farmers.
- Allowing export of edible oils may also result in utilization of idle capacity in India’s edible oils industry and is a step towards Ease of Doing Business by removing confusion arising out of prohibition on export of edible oils and a plethora of exemptions.
Cabinet approves continuation of the Credit Guarantee Fund for Education Loans Scheme
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of Credit Guarantee Fund for Education Loans Scheme.
- The cabinet committee also gave approval for continuation and modification of Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme with a financial outlay of Rs. 6,600 crore for period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
Modifications in the present proposal:
- In order to allow more students to access the benefit, (and also considering that the average loan size has been only Rs. 4 lakhs), the ceiling on the loan amount has been refixed at Rs. 7.5 lakhs.
- The moratorium period would be course period + 1 year.
- To promote quality education, the scheme would cover loans for pursuing professional/technical courses from NAAC/NBA accredited Institutions/programmes or Institutions of National Importance or Central Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs). This condition would however, be applicable with prospective effect, and would not apply to the current loans.
- A dashboard would be put in place for better monitoring of the scheme.
- The previous scheme which ran since 2009, in which average educational loans per year were only 2.78 lakhs.
- Under the revised scheme, the number of loans per year are expected to be at least 3.3 lakhs, showing a 20% increase over the previous scheme.
Central Sector Interest Subsidy (CSIS) Scheme
- It was launched on 1stApril, 2009.
- Under the Scheme, full interest subsidy is provided for the education loan taken from Scheduled Banks under the Model Education Loan Scheme of Indian Banks’ Association, covering a period of course duration + 1 year.
- This is made available for all the professional/technical courses in India and students with annual gross parental income up to Rs. 4.5 lakhs were eligible.
- The loans are disbursed without any collateral security and third-party guarantee.
Credit Guarantee Fund for Education Loans (CGFEL) Scheme
- It provides guarantee for the education loan under the Model Education Loan Scheme of Indian Banks’ Association, disbursed by the banks without seeking any collateral security and third-party guarantee, for a maximum loan amount of Rs. 7.5 Lakhs.
- A third party evaluation of the scheme has been made by IIM Bangalore, which suggested that the scheme should be rationalised to serve more students from economically weaker sections.
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