Jaishankar is new Foreign Secretary; a midnight mandate

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Hardly had Obama hit back his soil after a successful Delhi visit India’s Foreign Secretary was replaced. Appointment Committee of Cabinet headed by PM endorsed the appointment of S Jaishankar (IFS:1977) as the new Foreign Secretary of India yesterday late evening. Jaishankar (India’s Ambassador to US) is expected to take over from Sujatha Singh (IFS:1976) today. Even though the decision is surprising to many but Jaishankar was certainly expected to be given some big assignment by PM after Obama’s visit.

Considered as the architect of the Indo-US nuclear deal of 2008 Jaishankar was the first choice of Dr Manmohan Singh (the then PM) for Foreign Secretary but circumstances did not allow Manmohan to do so. S Jaishankar is also said to be the person behind Obama’s first-off-the-blocks congratulatory call to Modi after the Lok Sabha poll results were declared in May this year. He is also said to have been instrumental in reversing the US no-visa policy on Modi.

Jaishankar, scheduled to retire on January 31 this year, will now serve as Foreign Secretary for a fixed tenure of two years ending January 29, 2017. Sujatha Singh, the incumbent Foreign Secretary, will have to retire on January 31 instead of as scheduled in August 2015.

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