Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday expressed her "vehement objection" to the National Commission for Human Resource for Health (NCHRH) Bill, 2011, saying it "undermines" the powers of the State governments.

The Bill, now referred to the Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare by the Rajya Sabha, effectively puts the leadership and decision making process with regard to medical, dental and paramedical education in the "hands of about 25 persons, all of whom are nominees of the Central Government", she said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"This undermines the powers of the State Governments, which are left with no role to play in policy issues related to human manpower planning, curriculum and course design as well as approval of new institutions offering courses in medicine and allied disciplines", she said.

Jayalalithaa's letter on Thursday comes after a series of missives by her to the Prime Minister on various issues opposing the Centre's moves, including the latest one on National Counter Terrorism Centre, on the ground that they erode powers of the states and weaken federalism.

Observing that need-based planning for medical, dental and paramedical manpower should follow regional and local demands, she said this would best be achieved only by giving adequate representation to the States in policy making bodies.

"I firmly contend that the status quo may be maintained with regard to the functioning of the existing National and State Councils",

Jayalalithaa said, adding, that these councils may be strengthened and improved with increased participation of the State governments at the level of national council.

Strongly opposing the NCHRH Bill, she said the Bill "usurps the powers of the states in the critical area of health human resources by creating new structures which hit at the very root of federalism".

(Agencies)