Ending weeks of speculation, the Centre on Monday appointed Ranjan Mathai as the next foreign secretary. At present, Mathai is India's ambassador to France.
A 1974 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Mathai will succeed Nirupama Rao, who is set to become India’s next envoy to Washington. He will assume office on August 1 and will have a two-year term, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash announced on Monday.
The cabinet committee on appointments met on Monday to finalise Mathai's name for the foreign secretary’s post.
Mathai, 59, has served as country’s envoy to Israel (February 1998 to June 2001), and Qatar (August 2001 to July 2005.) He held the post of deputy high commissioner of India to the UK from August 2005 to January 2007.
Mathai, who is a post-graduate in political science from the Poona University, had also headed the division dealing with India's relations with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Maldives at headquarters.
Apart from this, Mathai has served in Indian Embassies in Vienna, Colombo, Washington, Tehran and Brussels.
India's permanent representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri and India's high commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal were also seen to be claimants for the post.
With Agency inputs