A. Medical Council of India
• The Medical Council of India was set up in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933. This Act was repealed and a new Act, The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, was enacted. This latter Act was further amended in 1964, 1993 and in 2001. The objectives of the Indian Medical Council, as per the Act, are as follows:
a) Maintenance of uniform standards of medical education, both undergraduate and postgraduate.
b) Recommendation for recognition/de-recognition of medical qualifications of medical institutions of India or foreign countries.
c) Permanent registration/provisional registration of doctors with recognised medical qualifications.
d) Reciprocity with foreign countries in the matter of mutual recognition of medical qualifications.
• The promotion of medical ethics; ensuring ethical medical practice and punishing wrong-doers; providing guidance to medical professionals on good medical practice, and advice on novel forms of treatment bristling with ethical implications (the use of embryos in medical research and the use of stem cells in clinical practice being just two recent examples) do not feature in the stated objectives.
B. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
• The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.
• FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
• FSSAI has been mandated by the FSS Act, 2006 for performing the following functions:
a) Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified.
b) Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food businesses.
c) Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
d) To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition .
e) Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various, contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert system.
f) Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats etc receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
g) Provide training programmes for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food businesses.
h) Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards.
i) Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
C. Codex India
• The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) was created in 1961/62 by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
• The main purpose of this Programme is to protect the health of consumers, ensure fair practices in the food trade, and promote coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations.
• “Codex India” the National Codex Contact Point (NCCP) for India, is located at the Directorate General Of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOH&FW), Government of India. It coordinates and promotes Codex activities in India in association with the National Codex Committee and facilitates India’s input to the work of Codex through an established consultation process.
D. Indian Council of Medical Research
• The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
• The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
• The Council’s research priorities coincide with the National health priorities such as control and management of communicable diseases, fertility control, maternal and child health, control of nutritional disorders, developing alternative strategies for health care delivery, containment within safety limits of environmental and occupational health problems; research on major non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, blindness, diabetes and other metabolic and haematological disorders; mental health research and drug research (including traditional remedies). All these efforts are undertaken with a view to reduce the total burden of disease and to promote health and well-being of the population.
E. National Medicinal Plants Board
• The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) set-up in November 2000 by the Government of India has the primary mandate of coordinating all matters relating to medicinal plants and support policies and programmes for growth of trade, export, conservation and cultivation.
• The Board is located in the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy (AYUSH) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Functions of the Board
a) Assessment of demand/supply position relating to medicinal plants both within the country and abroad
b) Advise concerned Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations/ State/ UT Governments on policy matters relating to schemes and programmes for development of medicinal plants.
c) Provide guidance in the formulation of proposals, schemes and programmes etc. to be taken-up by agencies having access to land for cultivation and infrastructure for collection, storage and transportation of medicinal plants.
d) Identification, inventorisation and quantification of medicinal plants.
e) Promotion of ex-situ/in-situ cultivation and conservation of medicinal plants.
f) Promotion of co-operative efforts among collectors and growers and assisting them to store, transport and market their produce effectively.
g) Setting up of data-base system for inventorisation, dissemination of information and facilitating the prevention of Patents being obtained for medicinal use of plants which is in the public domain.
h) Matters relating to import/export of raw material, as well as value added products either as medicine, food supplements or as herbal cosmetics including adoption of better techniques for marketing of product to increase their reputation for quality and reliability in the country and abroad.
i) Undertaking and awarding Scientific, Technological research and cost-effectiveness studies.
j) Development of protocols for cultivation and quality control.
k) Encouraging the Protection of patent Rights and IPR.
Central Advisory Board of Education
A. Central Advisory Board of Education
• The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) is the highest advisory body to advise the Central and State Governments in the field of education.
• It was first established in 1920 and dissolved in 1923 as a measure of economy. It was revived in 1935 and had continued to exist till 1994. The CABE remained dormant for almost a decade since 1994, and it is only in 2004 that this important body in the field of education has been revived by the Government of India.
• It is the highest advisory board in the country to advice in education related matter. It gives advises to the State or, Central Education Committee.
• The principal duty of the Central Advisory Board of Education is to provide priceless advises to the State as well as Central education board. It gives advises to those boards which regulates as well as generates the basic rules and regulations of education in the whole of the country.
B. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
• The AICTE was set up in 1948 as an advisory body to assist the Central Government in the planning and development of technical education at the post-secondary level.
• Education in engineering and technology, architecture, management and pharmacy is within the purview of the AICTE.
• In 1988, the AICTE was constituted as a statutory body under an Act of Parliament.
• The AICTE coordinates and supports the development of engineering colleges, management education institutions and polytechnics engaged in the training of technicians.
• Development support is provided by the AICTE to universities (through the UGC) and engineering colleges and polytechnics for their expansion, as also for improvements in their quality and standards.
• Among the major programmes supported by the AICTE are review and renewal of the curriculum for the education and training of engineers and technicians. Modernization of the laboratories and workshops, removal of obsolescence, establishment of community polytechnics, technology forecasting, manpower planning, training of teachers, preparation of norms and standards for programmes of education and training in various disciplines at different levels, and extending the benefits of technical and training to the backward and rural areas.
• In order to improve upon the present technical education system, the current objective is to modify the engineering curriculum as follows: Greater emphasis on design oriented teaching, teaching of design methodologies, problem solving approach; Greater exposure to industrial and manufacturing processes; Exclusion of outmoded technologies and inclusion of the new appropriate and emerging technologies and Greater input of management education and professional communication skills.
C. The University Grants Commission
• The University Grants Commission (UGC) was established in 1952 and was constituted as a statutory body under an Act of Parliament in 1956.
• It serves as a coordinating body between the Union and State Governments and the institutions of higher learning. It acts as an advisory body to these Governments and institutions on issues relating to higher education.
• The primary responsibility of the Commission is to promote and coordinate university education in the country and to ensure that the standards are maintained in teaching, research and examinations. In performing these functions, the UGC allocates and disburses grants placed at its disposal by the Central Government to the Universities, after an assessment of their needs.
• The Commission provides the development and maintenance grants to universities established under the Acts of Parliament and only development grants to those established by state legislatures.
D. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
• The Central Board of Secondary Education (abbreviated as CBSE) is a Board of Education for public and private schools, under the Union Government of India.
• The main objectives were those of: serving the educational institutions more effectively, to be responsive to the educational needs of those students whose parents were employed in the Central Government and had frequently transferable jobs.
• The jurisdiction of the Board is extensive and stretches beyond the national geographical boundaries.
• Schools located outside India are looked after by regional office Delhi. Matters pertaining to day-to-day administration, liaison with schools, pre and post examination arrangements are all dealt with by the respective regional offices.
• The Central Board of Secondary Education was set up to achieve certain interlinked objectives:
a. To prescribe conditions of examinations and conduct public examination at the end of Class X and XII.
b. To grant qualifying certificates to successful candidates of the affiliated schools.
c. To fulfill the educational requirements of those students whose parents were employed in transferable jobs.
d. To prescribe and update the course of instructions of examinations
e. To affiliate institutions for the purpose of examination and raise the academic standards of the country.
• CBSE has launched the grading system. As a part of this new system, student’s marks will be replaced by grades which will be evaluated through a series of curricular and extra-curricular evaluations along with academics. Grades are awarded to students based on work experience skills, dexterity, innovation, steadiness, teamwork, public speaking, behavior, etc. to evaluate and present an overall measure of the student’s ability. This helps the students who are not good in academics to show their talent in other fields such as arts, humanities, sports, music, athletics, etc.
E. National Knowledge Commission
• The National Knowledge Commission is a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, with the objective of transforming India into a knowledge society.
• The National Knowledge Commission has been given a mandate to guide policy and direct reforms, focusing on certain key areas such as education, science and technology, agriculture, industry, e-governance etc.
• Easy access to knowledge, creation and preservation of knowledge systems, dissemination of knowledge and better knowledge services are core concerns of the commission.
• The overarching aim of the National Knowledge Commission is to enable the development of a vibrant knowledge based society. The NKC seeks to develop appropriate institutional frameworks to:
i. Strengthen the education system, promote domestic research and innovation, facilitate knowledge application in sectors like health, agriculture, and industry.
ii. Leverage information and communication technologies to enhance governance and improve connectivity.
iii. Devise mechanisms for exchange and interaction between knowledge systems in the global arena.