India-US Forum of Parliamentarians
Jay Panda is the Chairman of the India-US Forum of Parliamentarians (IUFP). The forum was first launched in 2002 to foster closer relations between India and the US. Constituted along the lines of the ‘India Caucus’ in the U.S. Congress, the IUFP involves Indian Parliamentarians from both Houses of Parliament – the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, cutting across party lines. In recent years, the India-US relationship has acquired new shape and substance. Both the countries, are today, engaged in diplomatic collaboration, counter terrorism efforts, defense cooperation, and their economies are getting increasingly interlinked. The forum helps further consolidate the bilateral relationship and promote India’s key interests. Besides examining global issues such as terrorism, national security, non-proliferation and human rights, the forum also deals with a wide range of bilateral issues, such as trade and commerce, cooperation in the areas of Information Technology, Immigration etc. In addition, it provides legislators a valuable opportunity to critically think about the challenges of leadership and to learn from the initiatives being undertaken in each country. IUFP is supported by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). IUFP – 2013 In 2013, the IUFP meet was scheduled from the 2nd to the 7th of June with meetings organized in Washington & Boston. Besides Jay Panda (IUFP Chairman), other members of the Indian delegation included: Ms. Supriya Sule (Lok Sabha, NCP); Mr. Prem Das Rai (Lok Sabha, SDF); Mr. Uday Singh (Lok Sabha, BJP); Mr. Manicka Tagore (Lok Sabha, INC); Mr. Pratap Singh Bajwa (Lok Sabha, INC) and Mr. Bhakta Charan Das (Lok Sabha, INC). On arrival, the delegation was briefed by Jay Panda and also the Indian embassy in the US. In Washington, the visit involved meetings and interactions with senior members of the US Administration including Deputy Secretary of State Mr. William Burns and Deputy Secretary of Defense Mr. Ashton Carter; elected representatives from both governing and opposition parties including Mr. Ed Royce, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and think-tanks such as the Brookings Institute. Following this, delegates attended a day long Parliamentary Leadership Programme at the Poverty Action Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. On the last day, the delegates participated in a Roundtable Meeting along with professors of public policy and business administration at Harvard University.