MEA to appoint six envoys under new foreign secy Vijay Gokhale, more changes on the anvil
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) is making its first set of postings and transfers — including the appointment of ambassadors to six countries — under new foreign secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale, officials familiar with the development said.
Gokhale was appointed to the position late last month.
Sripriya Ranganathan, who currently heads the territorial division of Bangladesh and Myanmar, is slated to be the country’s next envoy to South Korea. Although incumbent Vikram Doraiswami – a 1992-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer – will head back to headquarters, it is not clear which position he will hold.
Doraiswami handled two heavy-duty territorial divisions of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) and the Americas (USA and Canada) during his last stint here.
Vinay Kumar, joint secretary (south) in the headquarters, will head to Afghanistan as its next envoy while 1985-batch IFS officer Narendra Chauhan becomes the new envoy for the Czech Republic.
Incumbent Czech Republic envoy Krishan Kumar will be posted as India’s next ambassador to Norway even as Ravi Thaper — an IFS officer of the 1983 batch — takes over as the envoy in Serbia.
Meanwhile, a hunt is also on for two new envoys in Tokyo and Bangkok.
Although chief of protocol Sanjay Verma’s name is under consideration in this regard, the official said the Tokyo posting may go to a more senior person. Verma is a 1990-batch IFS officer who has served as the Indian ambassador to Ethiopia and the consul general in Dubai.
The ministry recently appointed seasoned diplomat TS Tirumurti as the secretary for economic relations, a post Gokhale held before taking over the post of the foreign secretary on January 29.
A 1985-batch officer of the IFS, Tirumurti was India’s high commissioner to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) since December 2013 and was for due for posting.
Tirumurti headed the territorial division dealing with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. He also served in Geneva, Washington and Jakarta.