Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa is angry and upset over yet another central government initiative that usurps state government powers, thereby weakening the federal structure of the country.
Close on the heels of the NCTC proposed by the Union home minister, the central government’s proposed National Commission for Human Resources for health bill puts the entire power to regulate medical education in the country in the hands of a few chosen central government representatives.
Jayalalithaa has written a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday demanding maintenance of status quo on medical education with central and state councils doing their respective jobs. In fact, these central and state councils should be strengthened so as to ensure increase in state government participation at the national level, Jayalalithaa said.
Placing on record her vehement objection to the bill, at present referred to standing committee on health and family welfare by Rajya Sabha, the chief minister said the new Bill effectively puts the leadership and decision making process with regard to medical, dental and paramedical education in the hands of about twenty five persons, all of whom are nominees of the Central Government.
“This undermines the powers of the State Governments, which are left with no role to play in policy issues related to health manpower planning, curriculum and course design as well as approval of new institutions offering courses in medicine and allied disciplines,” Jayalalithaa said in her letter.
Unless state governments are given adequate representation in policy making bodies, proper need based planning would not take place, Jayalalithaa said adding planning for medical, dental and paramedical manpower should follow regional and local demands.