President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday signed an ordinance to establish a committee to run the Medical Council of India until a bill is passed in Parliament to replace it with the National Medical Commission, PTI reported.

The announcement was made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after a meeting of the Union Cabinet in New Delhi. The presidential assent came after the Cabinet cleared the ordinance on Wednesday morning.

The National Medical Commission is expected to replace the Medical Council of India as the top medical education regulator in the country. In March, the Cabinet made amendments to the National Medical Commission Bill after considering recommendations made by a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare.

The bill, pending in Parliament, proposes setting up four autonomous boards to oversee undergraduate and post-graduate courses, assess and accredit medical institutes and register practitioners under the National Medical Commission. It also proposes a common entrance exam and licentiate exams that all medical graduates will have to clear for practicing licences.

The bill was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee following protests by the medical fraternity across the country on the grounds that it would lead to more corruption in the medical field.

Since the term of the elected body of the Medical Commission of India is set to end soon, there is a need to appoint a committee of eminent personalities to run its affairs, said Jaitley. The Board of Governors will include Niti Aayog member VK Paul, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director Dr Randeep Guleria, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research’s Director Dr Jagat Ram, Dr BM Gangadhar of NIMHANS Bengaluru, endocrinologist Dr Nikhil Tandon, and doctors S Venkatesh and Balram Bhargava, reported ANI.