Binayak Sen on Plan committee

He will provide inputs on the health of tribal kids

Sen is among the health sector experts called in by the Plan panel to draw India’s health policy for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). Sen, a paediatrician, who worked among tribals in Chhattisgarh, was released on bail from the Raipur jail last month.

He will now provide inputs on the health of tribal children. On the Steering Committee, Sen will represent the Bilaspur-based healthcare organisation, Jan Swasthya Sahyog. The 40-member Committee on Health chaired by Syeda Hameed will submit its draft report by September 30 and the final report by October 31.

 Sen’s nomination on the panel of the country’s highest planning body headed by prime minister comes a few months after he was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chhattisgarh court on charges of sedition and colluding with Maoists to fight against the country. However, the Supreme Court granted him bail in April.

The BJP, however, opposed Sen’s inclusion on the health committee. Objecting the UPA government’s move, it questioned the appointment of an accused to the panel. However, the Planning Commission has defended its decision to include Sen as a non-official member of its Health Steering Committee.

 “We have appointed Binayak Sen as a member of the Steering Committee on health to advise for the 12th Plan. It was Planning Commission’s proposal to appoint him,” Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, told reporters.

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