The All India Institute of Medical Science Act, 1956 – Review

The self-governing public medical colleges of graduate and post graduate studies together constitute the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The AIIMS was constituted under the All India Institute of Medical Science Act enacted by the Parliament in 1956. The AIIMS was established from the date on which the Central Government published the notification with regard to the matter therewith and the Institute shall be one of National significance. The Institute shall have all the powers of a company, to purchase, hold and set out assets, enter into contracts and the power to litigate. The Institute shall comprise of the Vice-Chancellor, Director General from the department of Health Services of the Union, Director of AIIMS as the ex officio, and such other members as prescribed under the Act.

Generally, the tenure of the members shall be five years and the term of an ex officio member shall be till he ceases to be a member of the department from which he was elected. The Act specifies that the member shall resign the office by furnishing resignation to the Union Government. The President of the Institute shall be the nominee of the Central government.

The remuneration and other allowances of the members including the President are fixed by the Union by formulating rules. The meeting of the institute and procedure of such meeting shall be held in accordance with the rules formulated by the Central Government. The members of the institute constitute a Governing Body in accord with the regulations. Such body shall be the executive committee of the AIIMS and implement the powers and discharge authority as imposed upon it by regulations. The regulation also contains the scheme of exerting the power, purpose of the governing body, tenure of office, filling up vacancies etc.

The Act confers power on the Institute to constitute Standing Committees absolutely consisting of the members of the Institute and ad hoc committees for the purpose of inquiry, report or advise matters relating to the Institute. The members of the ad hoc committee shall be outsiders but the total number of persons shall not be more than half of the entire membership. The Director of the Institute shall act as the Chief Executive Officer and also as the Secretary to the institute, appointed by the Institute in consonance with the rules formulated by the Central Government.

The funds of the Institute shall be from the amount granted by the Union, fees and other charges, grants, aid or contributions, and the fund shall be deposited in the bank as instructed by the Central Government. The main objectives of the institute shall be to build up outlines of teaching in medical education in all its spheres, to express uniform and higher standards in all medical colleges and other medical institutions in India, to provide training to professionals in all main branches by bringing the educational facilities at a single place, to attain self-reliance in the medical profession. The functions of the institute includes teaching in medical sciences, research facilities, teaching humanities in the graduate level, conduct new experimental methods, stipulate courses and syllabus for medical studies etc.

The Act recognizes the degree and diploma provided by AIIMS as qualification in the medical profession. In case a dispute arises between the Institute and the Union, the decision of the Union shall be ultimate. For implementing the provisions of the Act, the Central Government can frame rules in discussion with the institute. In 2012, both the houses of the Parliament passed the All India Institute of Medical Science (Amendment) Bill which will convert the status of some AIIMS to be an autonomous body.