Jay Panda

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Jay Panda
Member, 15th and 16th Lok Sabha
Incumbent
Assumed office
2009
Preceded by Archana Nayak
Constituency Kendrapara
Member: Rajya Sabha
In office
4 April 2000 – 2009
Personal details
Born Baijayant Panda
(1964-01-12) 12 January 1964 (age 50)
Cuttack, Odisha
Political party Biju Janata Dal
Spouse(s) Jagi Mangat Panda
Residence Bhubaneswar
Alma mater Michigan Technological University
Profession Industrialist, politician
Religion Hinduism
Signature
Website Official Website

Baijayant "Jay" Panda is an Indian politician, currently serving as a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha. Elected from the Kendrapara constituency, he belongs to the Biju Janata Dal party. Previously, he had served in the indirectly elected Rajya Sabha, from 2000 to 2009.

Early life[edit]

He was born on 12 January 1964 in Cuttack to Shri Bansidhar Panda and Smt. Ila Panda. He studied in the Michigan Technological University. With a background in Engineering and Management, he went on to work in the corporate sector before joining politics. He assisted the late Biju Patnaik and subsequently Naveen Patnaik, who founded the Biju Janata Dal party, which has found strong acceptance from the people of Odisha and has been repeatedly voted back in elections.[1]

He married Smt. Jagi Mangat Panda on 13 August 1994 .[2] His wife Jagi Mangat Panda is also an industrialist and is currently the M.D. of Ortel Communications Ltd.[3][4]

Public Causes[edit]

Besides being active in Parliament and in his constituency, Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda has been championing several key initiatives. Some of his major efforts are given below:

Citizens’ Alliance against Malnutrition[edit]

Jay Panda is a member of the Citizens’ Alliance against Malnutrition, a high level advocacy group composed of young parliamentarians, from various parties and other influential personalities. The goal of the alliance is to raise its voice against malnutrition so that collective national consciousness can be converted into action to eliminate the menace of malnutrition.

As part of the initiative, the alliance members travel across the country, visiting regions with high prevalence of malnutrition. On these visits they meet children, mothers, anganwadi workers, government officials and political leaders to understand why child malnutrition persists. They also raise the issue in different forums.[5]

The work of the alliance prompted the Naandi Foundation to conduct, in 2011, the nation’s first ever large scale nutrition survey which captured nutrition data from over 100,000 children and interviewed more than 74,000 mothers. This survey, christened the HUNGaMA (Hunger and Malnutrition) Survey, was released by the Prime Minister in January 2012, at the behest of the alliance.

Consultations on plain packaging of tobacco products[edit]

Jay Panda has been spearheading the campaign to reduce the consumption of tobacco products in India.[6]

In December 2012, Australia led the way by becoming the first country to enact a legislation mandating ‘plain’ packaging of tobacco products. Learning from the Australian example, Jay Panda introduced a Private Members’ Bill in the Lok Sabha to stipulate plain packaging of tobacco products. His Bill seeks to increase the size of the health warning and the accompanying graphic to at least 60% of the front and back surfaces of the package. It also prohibits advertisement of tobacco products in warehouses and shops i.e. at the point of sale.

Besides pursuing the matter in Parliament and writing opinion pieces on the issues, Jay Panda has been working closely with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY) to organize consultations on issue.One such consultation was organized in Delhi in December 2012 and another in Bhubaneswar in February 2013.[7]

Support to the cause of migrant labour[edit]

In January 2013, the Times of India carried a story alleging exploitation of migrant Oriya labourers in brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh.

Following these reports, Jay Panda wrote to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and the Labour Minister, requesting them to investigate the matter and to ensure that the rights of the workers are protected. On the basis of his letter, the NHRC directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh to respond to the complaint with all relevant information.

In April, he pursued the matter further by visiting the brick kilns of Randa Reddy district, Andhra Pradesh to get a first-hand account of the situation.[8]

Constituency[edit]

Sukha Dukhara Sathi[edit]

A unique concept by Jay Panda, this is a sterling example of how approachable he really is. His efforts to reach out to people despite their party, caste and religion can be clearly observed through this initiative. “Sukha Dukhara Sathi” is a practice where he is a part of people’s lives, in both happiness and sorrow. Just as he attends a wedding in the constituency with great élan, he also stands by people in times of sorrow.Help is just a call away and his office can be reached at any time of the day.

Crisis Help[edit]

Crisis help has proved to be a boon to many. A separate scheme has been formulated to help people who find themselves faced with crisis situations such as fire accidents, medical contingencies, unnatural death etc. As soon as news of the crisis reaches Jay Panda’s office, immediate help is dispatched. Over the years, crisis help has turned out to be the most needed and useful means of support.

Flood Relief Operation[edit]

Numerous rivers cover the landscape of Kendrapara. As a result, it has been plagued by frequent floods in the recent years. Jay Panda has personally organised flood relief operations during these time. In addition to distributing air flown relief packets, the more inaccessible parts have been covered by boat and the rest by road. He has personally flown over marooned places and visited villages to help the many people affected by the floods.

Post Flood Medical Camp[edit]

In 2011, 58 free medical camps were organised in the different flood affected villages.  At these camps, medical check-ups were conducted and free medicines were distributed among the people.

The Postcard Relief[edit]

In order to be more approachable, Jay Panda has started a unique and simple mode of communication.  Special post cards addressed directly to him can be sent via post if any grievance has not been solved for an extended period of time. On his visits to the constituency, he personally distributes these postcards to people.

Mobile Health Units[edit]

The current medical infrastructure in Kendrapara is inadequate to meet the demands of the population. Only 44 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) are in operation and these cater to the needs of a population that exceeds 15 lakh. This problem is further aggravated due to the shortage of doctors and other medical infrastructure. In order to bridge this gap, Jay Panda has been working to get Mobile Health Units (MHU) operational in his constituency. His efforts have started showing results.A HPCL sponsored Wockhardt MHU has begun operations in 3 villages in the Patkura block in May, 2013. Indian Oil is also soon going to start operations in Beltal which comes under the Pattamundai block.[9]

Private Member Bills[edit]

Jay Panda has introduced a number of Private Members' Bills in Parliament some very important issues. Some of the bills that he has introduced are:

  • The Comptroller and Auditor-General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) (Amendment) Bill, 2013: It is a bill that strengthens the office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and equips him with such additional powers that may allow him to perform his duties effectively. There is an urgent need to amend the current Act that governs the working of the CAG. The most important changes must include: Bringing contractual agreements and public-private partnerships (PPPs) within the CAG’s ambit; giving statutory backing to ‘performance audits’; penalties for not responding to information requests from the CAG in time; and time-bound laying of CAG reports in the legislature.[10]
  • Fast Track Courts for Elected Representatives Bill, 2013: It is a bill that establishes special Fast Track courts for the trial of cases involving criminal charges against elected representatives. Cases involving elected representatives that are presently being tried across different courts in the country will stand transferred to the Fast Track Courts having jurisdiction in the area. Barring exceptional circumstances, a Fast Track Court shall complete trial within 90 days from the date of filing of charge sheet.[11]
  • Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2013: It is a Bill to check the criminalisation of politics. It removes the exemption given to sitting MPs, MLAs and MLCs who have been convicted of criminal offences.[12]
  • The Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2012: The bill amends Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act to remove restraints on free speech. Given that Section 66A is broadly defined and open to interpretation by the enforcer, it ceases to be ‘reasonable’. The present law needs to be amended in order to narrowly delineate the contours of situations under which free speech on the internet may be restricted. Any attempt to provide our people an atmosphere conducive to healthy debate and deliberation, will have to begin with an amendment of this Act, which strikes at the very root of our democratic values.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]