Bhagwati India’s next envoy to London?November 28th, 2011 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) The jockeying for India House, the seat of the Indian high commission in London, seems to be over with the government apparently zeroing in on J. Bhagwati, India’s current envoy to Brussels.
Bhagwati, who has been India’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and to the European Union for over three years, has an impressive and varied resume that includes stints in the finance ministry and in the World Bank.
A 1976 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service, Bhagwati served as additional secretary in the external affairs ministry and boasts of extensive experience in financial and economic matters with specialisation in capital markets.
The lobbying for India House had moved into top gear after Nalin Surie stepped down as India’s high commissioner July 31 and retired from the foreign service. He was offered a six-month extension but he declined.
Since then, many senior diplomats were eyeing the prized London posting — including Pavan K. Varma, currently India’s ambassador to Bhutan and a former director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and Sujatha Singh, India’s high commissioner to Australia.
However, after a careful review, the government has now chosen Bhagwati as the successor to Surie in India House, highly placed sources said.
With Bhagwati’s appointment near certain, the stage has been set for other key high-profile diplomatic appointments.
There are no announcements yet, but there is speculation that Navtej Sarna, India’s envoy to Israel, may become ambassador in either Dhaka or Thimphu.
Pankaj Saran, currently joint secretary in the PMO, is also keen on an ambassadorial posting in Bhutan.
Sujatha Singh is expected to take charge in Berlin. It’s not clear who will succeed her in Canberra but the name of Biren Nanda, India’s envoy to Indonesia, is doing the rounds.
Gurjit Singh, additional secretary in charge of East and South Africa in the external affairs ministry, is heading to Indonesia as ambassador.
Vishnu Prakash, the spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, is expected to go to Seoul as India’s ambassador.
Syed Akbaruddin, a senior diplomat who was in Vienna with the International Atomic Energy Agency, is likely to succeed Prakash as the public face of India’s foreign office.
But the sources said that last minutes changes in the appointments could not be ruled out.
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Tags: bhagwati, biren, diplomatic appointments, doing the rounds, economic matters, external affairs ministry, finance ministry, indian foreign service, indian high commission, indian high commission in london, nanda, navtej sarna, pankaj, pavan k varma, pmo, saran, specialisation, sujatha, surie, thimphu