Ministry of external affairs (MEA) has recommended the name of Sujatha Singh, a 1976 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Services (IFS) and presently India’s ambassador to Germany, as successor to foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai, who retires on August 31.
While the appointment committee of the Cabinet under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is still to take the final call, it is clear that MEA has opted for seniority instead of merit in the selection.
Singh’s name was sent to the committee before the PM left the Kashmir trip. The other front-runners for the post were 1977 batch IFS officers S Jaishankar, India’s ambassador to China and MEA Secretary (West) Sudhir Vyas.
Sujatha Singh, daughter of former UP governor T V Rajeswar, has apparently threatened to resign if superseded by her junior colleagues. Her father and husband helped Sujatha — due to retire in July 2014 — lobby for the post with the Congress High Command and other bureaucrats. The other contenders were lobbying in return for a better assignment or post-retirement benefits.