Member of Parliament, Government of India, India
Baijayant “Jay” Panda was elected to the Parliament of India, Lower House (Lok Sabha) from Kendrapara Constituency, Odisha in May 2009. Earlier Panda had been twice elected to Parliament, Upper House (Rajya Sabha) in 2000 and 2006, also from the State of Odisha. He is a member of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party.
Panda represents the new face of Indian politicians, several of whom have been educated abroad and have had alternate careers before choosing to serve the nation through politics. Panda graduated from the Michigan Technological University and, with a background in Engineering and Management, worked 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.
Panda had helped to form the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) and was its Convener; he has also been associated with the India-USA Forum of Parliamentarians and is its Chairman. He was awarded the “Bharat Asmita National Award” for best parliamentary practices by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India in 2008. Since its inception in 2007, Panda has been associated with the Citizens’ Alliance Against Malnutrition, an advocacy group including many parliamentarians across parties, Bollywood actors, other celebrities, civil society activists and non governmental organizations. The Citizens’ Alliance has undertaken numerous initiatives to battle child malnutrition in India, including field visits to rural districts in several states, continual engagement with media organizations to highlight the issue, repeated interactions with the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition, Chief Ministers and other political leaders to raise the priority given to this critical issue.
In his earlier corporate career Panda was active in industry organizations like the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the International Chromium Development Association. In the past he has also been associated with the Govt. of Odisha’s Industrial Advisory Committee and been a Director on the Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL). As a parliamentarian, he has been a member of many important committees like the Parliamentary Committees on Energy, Urban Development and Finance.
In parliament and public life Panda passionately espouses the cause of his home state Odisha as well as other national issues close to his heart, such as economic development, education and information technology. He frequently participates in national television discussions and writes op-ed pieces in newspapers. BJ Panda holds a Private Pilot’s License for aircraft and helicopters and enjoys adventure sports like skydiving and bungee jumping.
Mr Panda is currently Member of Parliament, India (Lok Sabha) from Kendrapara, Odisha; Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce; Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Human Resource Development.