QCI, AMTZ and AiMeD form Indian Bio-Medical
Skill Consortium to certify capacity of Indian biomedical engineers
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru, Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 08:00
The Association of Indian Manufacturers of Medical Devices
(AIMED) has teamed up with the Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone (AMTZ) and Quality
Council of India (QCI) to form the Indian Biomedical Skill Consortium (IBSC).
The development of biomedical skill sector in India received
a major boost and the objective of the initiative is to understand and analyse
the methodology of existing certification/licencing for clinical engineers or
biomedical equipment technicians by institute / association in various countries
and prepare a module to benefit Indian biomedical engineering professionals.
The proposed Skill Cell will be hub for both national and
international BME students and engineers to learn and gain in-depth knowledge on
all medical devices, calibration and relevant areas. IBSC will give recognition
to Indian biomedical engineers based on their years of experience, education and
competency levels. This will benefit to approximately two lakh biomedical
engineers in India and 6,500 or more fresh graduates annually. International
candidates are also eligible to take this exam.
IBSC proposes to develop an equivalence system of value-based
assessment covering educational training, work experience and competency
possessed by practitioners of biomedical engineering skills. To facilitate this
a large number of assessment centres are being planned across several states in
India where competency test on key bio-medical engineering skills could be
undertaken by practitioners of bio-medical engineering from mechanical,
electronic, electrical, health, IT, clinical and allied engineering subjects.
The outcome - a competency score - shall be framed on parity with other such
professional bodies in other countries. This equivalence score will help the
Indian biomedical skill pool to gain formal recognition and acceptance of their
experience and knowledge in other countries.
The tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed
by Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator, AiMED, Dr. Jitendar Sharma, MD & CEO, AMTZ and
Dr. Ravi P. Singh, secretary general, QCI.
According to Nath, healthcare industry is one of the major
source of economy to our nation, this industry needs well trained and skilled
engineers particularly in medical devices areas.
“The move will help develop skill programs in the areas of
medical devices and related areas that full fill the required manpower to
hospitals, medical equipment companies and manufacturing industries. This will
benefit the manufactures/industries by making available skilled manpower very
easily who are well trained as per the requirements. It will also create more
job opportunities for our engineers across the globe. It will enhance the
competitiveness and profitability of Indian medical device industry,” he added.
Earlier a CT Scan manufacturer in India could not depute his
engineer to EU or US to install, commission or service his equipment as his
Indian employed engineer was not qualified. Now with this competency
certification and international agreements we expect to have we will be able to
support our exports as the above issue is acting as a non-tariff trade barrier,
said Dr Sharma.
Along with representatives from AMTZ, QCI and AIMED, the
first meeting of IBSC had representation from Kalam Institute of Health
Technology (KIHT), IIT Guwahati (IIT-G), Indian Institute of Science (IISc),
Christian Medical College (CMC), Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO),
Healthcare Sector Skill Council (HSSC), Society for Applied Microwave
Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER), Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for
Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Panjab University, BSI Group,
Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), TÜV Rheinland India and
Phoenix Medical Systems.
MTaI pitches for tax breaks to medical
device R&D centres to boost investment in innovation based in-house capabilities
Our Bureau, New Delhi, Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 08:00 Hrs
The Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) has asked
the government to provide tax breaks to medical device R&D centres under the
transfer pricing act to boost investment in innovation based in-house
In its pre-budget recommendations for Union Budget 2018-19,
the association said: "The government needs to provide tax holiday to medical
device R&D centres under the transfer pricing act to boost investment in high
innovation-based in-house capabilities centres."
"We also demand tax incentives for the industry for
developing global patents from India and tax deduction on income made by
individuals or a company for rewards earned on patent development or licensing
of patents," it added.
MTaI further requested that Safe Harbour guidelines be
provided for pharmaceutical companies who are manufacturing and exporting the
product as contract manufacturer/loan licensee.
There are many companies dealing in manufacturing and export
of generic pharmaceutical drugs under contract manufacturing arrangement. There
are major litigations on account of margins that the contract manufacturer
should have earned by transfer pricing cell of income tax department. The
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified the Safe Harbour rule covering
sectors like IT/ITES, KPO and auto component manufacturers prescribing desirable
margins to avoid litigations under transfer pricing
Considering that weighted deductions and tax holidays are
being phased out, MTaI recommended that the corporate tax rates should also be
reduced for large companies in line with the government's objective to widen the
tax base and make these companies globally competitive. MTaI also raised
concerns over high custom duties on medical devices. There was a significant
increase ranging 50-60 per cent on medical devices. This has adversely impacted
costs for these products in India where the government agenda is to provide low
cost healthcare available to masses.
This is especially important in view of the fact that a
significant 67-70 per cent of healthcare spends is through private spending and
there exists a wide gap in local manufacturing of high quality medical devices.
“We strongly recommend to restore the import duty rates on
medical devices to earlier rate of 5 per cent import duty where the overall
import duty costs were within range of 5-10 per cent and commensurate with
import duty rates in other competing economies like Singapore, Malaysia, Hong
Kong and Indonesia,” the association said.
The association has also urged the government to reduce
Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) rate to 15 per cent and amend Section 115JAA to
provide that in case of an amalgamation, where the amalgamating company has
carry forward MAT credit, the provisions of said section 115JAA would apply and
the amalgamated company would be eligible to set off and carry forward the MAT
credit of amalgamating company.