Foreign ministry set for rejig in 2017, Gopal Baglay could be next spokesperson | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Foreign ministry set for rejig in 2017, Gopal Baglay could be next spokesperson

Gopal Baglay, who heads the division dealing with Pakistan, is tipped to be the new spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs (MEA).

india Updated: Nov 26, 2016 00:08 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Official spokesperson for the external affairs ministry, Vikas Swarup, is tipped to become the ambassador to Canada next year.
Official spokesperson for the external affairs ministry, Vikas Swarup, is tipped to become the ambassador to Canada next year. (Mohd Zakir/HT File Photo)

jayanth.jacob@hindustantimes.com

Gopal Baglay, who heads the division dealing with Pakistan, is tipped to be the new spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs (MEA).

Beginning early next year, the foreign ministry will undergo a major rejig as many senior officials are set to retire, and some of them will complete their tenure.

The spokesperson is the most visible face of the ministry.

Baglay belongs to the 1992 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). He has handled the media in his earlier avatar as press counsellor at the embassy in Kathmandu, as well as director in the external publicity division of the ministry of external affairs.

He also served as deputy high commissioner to Pakistan, and at present, heads the territorial division of PAI (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran).

If chosen, Baglay will succeed Vikas Swarup, an additional secretary, who is expected to be the country’s next envoy to Canada, sources told Hindustan Times.

Vishnu Prakash, a former MEA spokesperson, is retiring this month as ambassador to Canada.

Swarup is a 1986 batch IFS officer who wrote the popular book Q and A, which was adapted into the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

Many key positions will fall vacant in 2017, and as many as 20 officers are set to retire.

In the early part of the year, those who retire from service include ambassadors to Nepal, Germany, Indonesia, France and Finland.

Indian envoy to European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg, Manjeev Singh Puri, will complete three years in the job in February 2017, and could be in for a change as well.

Two secretaries in the headquarters — Sujatha Mehta (secretary, west) and Amar Sinha (secretary, economic relations) — will also retire next year, and so will the dean of the Foreign Service Institute, Amarendra Khatua.