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S Jaishankar, ex-foreign secretary, becomes External Affairs minister

Jaishankar becomes part of a long line of career diplomats taking the political plunge. The former US Ambassador has been one of the most active diplomats in the Modi government and steered the government’s agenda across the world.

S Jaishankar, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Modi swearing in, cabinet ministers, Narendra Modi, India news, Indian Express Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, before taking charge as Foreign Minister in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Former foreign secretary S Jaishankar was given the charge of the External Affairs ministry on Friday. With the new responsibility, Jaishankar is a surprise entrant to PM Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, which took oath on Thursday.

ReadFull list of Modi’s Council of Ministers with portfolios

The newly elected Narendra Modi government on Friday announced the portfolios, allocating the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Prime Minister’s closest aide and Cabinet debutant Amit Shah while the Defence Ministry to Rajnath Singh. Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj found no place in the new government, as did 36 others from the previous Council of Ministers.

Jaishankar becomes part of a long line of career diplomats taking the political plunge. The former US Ambassador has been one of the most active diplomats in the Modi government and steered the government’s agenda across the world.

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A 1977 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer, Jaishankar has previously served as Indian ambassador to US (2014-15), China (2009-13) among other European nations, and had a major role in the negotiation of the ambitious India-US civil nuclear agreement. The longest-serving foreign secretary is credited for forming the crux of Modi’s foreign policy in his first term as the prime minister.

Jaishankar also had a pivotal role in ending the Doklam crisis between India and China which took the two nations on a brink of war in Arunachal Pradesh. During his tenure in Beijing, Jaishankar helped India improve ties with China in trade, border and cultural relations.

Upon retirement from diplomacy, Jaishankar joined Tata Sons as President, Global Corporate Affairs. He was conferred the Padma Shree in 2019. (With PTI inputs)

First published on: 31-05-2019 at 02:15:20 pm
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