The United Nations media department Thursday made a faux pas when it identified commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma as his Cabinet colleague Kamal Nath.
Sharma, who is leading a high-profile business delegation to the US, called on UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon on Thursday morning and the media alert sent out to various media outlets at 9 am in the morning said, "Photo Opportunity: The secretary-general with H.E. Mr. Shri Kamal Nath, minister of commerce industry of India at 10 am on the 38th floor.
This sent Indian-American media representatives scurrying as there was no advance intimation of the arrival of Kamal Nath minister, the urban development minister of India.
Later, the media was told that Anand Sharma would be making a courtesy call on the secretary-general.
However, the UN website till Thursday morning carried the caption beneath the photo of Ban and Sharma as "Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Shri Kamal Nath, minister for commerce and industry of India." The photo was credited to UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
Kamal Nath had served as Union Cabinet minister of commerce and industry from 2004 to 2009.
According to UN officials, it's the duty of the officials at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations to provide the names of the visiting dignitaries to the UN departments concerned.
It was not known whether the Mission provided the correct name of the minister to enable the UN to make the announcement or left the choice to the UN media department.