Uma Shankar Bajpai, 83, veteran diplomat and former director of India International Centre (IIC), died at a hospital here today.
Although he served with distinction in the foreign service, Bajpai is better known for revamping the IIC, which he headed after his retirement in 1979. He is credited with changing the image of the IIC from a mere cultural hub to a forum with an international focus that also engages in current issues.
Says K Subramanyam, strategic analyst: ‘‘It was he who converted the IIC into the institution that it is today. He brought focus on international issues and made IIC more or less recover from the constraints it was working under during the Emergency.’’
Bajpai is survived by wife Kamla, daughter Shailaja Bajpai, The Indian Express media critic, sons IP Bajpai, Kanti Bajpai and SP Bajpai.
Bajpai started his career as a journalist, before joining the foreign service. He has posted at the Karachi Consulate for a while and his last foreign posting was as High Commissioner, Canada. He retired as a secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Bajpai’s father the late Girija Shankar Bajpai and his brother KS Bajpai were India’s ambassadors to the US.
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