Govt names Foreign Service Institute, Pravasi Kendra after Sushma Swaraj
On the eve of Sushma Swaraj’s birth anniversary, the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra has been renamed Sushma Swaraj Bhawan.Updated: Feb 13, 2020 17:23 IST
The external affairs ministry announced on Thursday that two key institutions linked to India’s foreign policy would be renamed after late external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
The decision to rename the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra and Foreign Service Institute, both located in New Delhi, was made on the eve of Swaraj’s birth anniversary on February 14. Swaraj, India’s first full-time woman foreign minister, died of cardiac arrest on 6 August 2019. She was 67.
In a statement, the external affairs ministry said the renaming of the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra as Sushma Swaraj Bhawan and Foreign Service Institute as Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service was intended to commemorate her invaluable contribution to Indian diplomacy, the cause of the Indian diaspora and the ethos of public service.
“The announcement is being made on the eve of her birth anniversary falling on 14th February in honour of the legacy and decades of public service of the former external affairs minister,” the statement said.
Swaraj extended a helping hand to many Indians in distress abroad and acquired a reputation as one of the most accessible ministers in the first term of the Narendra Modi government. She died months after she was replaced by S Jaishankar in the second Modi government.
The Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra was established as the focal point for networking between India and the overseas Indian community, and as a suitable place to commemorate the trials, tribulations, evolution and achievements of the Indian diaspora.
The announcement about the setting up of the Kendra was made at the second Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in New Delhi by the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and its foundation stone was laid by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh during the 9th PBD in January 2011. It is used to organise activities, seminars, events and workshops pertaining to the Indian diaspora.
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI), established in 1986 by the external affairs ministry, is one of the premier training organisations for diplomats in the region. Besides handling the professional training needs of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers, the FSI also runs training programmes for mid-career officers, commercial representatives and defence attaches posted in Indian missions abroad, members of other civil services, and foreign diplomats as a way to build bridges of friendship and cooperation with other countries.