First set of changes in MEA un­der Gokhale

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Nation - Jayanth Ja­cob jayanth.ja­cob@hin­dus­tan­

NEWDELHI:The min­istry of ex­ter­nal af­fairs (MEA) is mak­ing its first set of post­ings and trans­fers – in­clud­ing the ap­point­ment of am­bas­sadors to six coun­tries – un­der new for­eign sec­re­tary Vi­jay Ke­shav Gokhale, of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with the de­vel­op­ment said.

Gokhale was ap­pointed to the po­si­tion late last month.

Sripriya Ran­ganathan, who cur­rently heads the ter­ri­to­rial divi­sion of Bangladesh and Myan­mar, is slated to be the coun­try’s next en­voy to South Ko­rea. Although in­cum­bent Vikram Do­raiswami – a 1992batch In­dian For­eign Ser­vice (IFS) of­fi­cer – will head back to head­quar­ters, it is not clear which po­si­tion he will hold.

Do­raiswami han­dled two heavy-duty ter­ri­to­rial di­vi­sions of South Asian As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­gional Co­op­er­a­tion (Saarc) and the Amer­i­cas (USA and Canada) dur­ing his last stint here.

Vi­nay Ku­mar, joint sec­re­tary (south) in the head­quar­ters, will head to Afghanistan as its next en­voy while 1985-batch IFS of­fi­cer Naren­dra Chauhan be­comes the new en­voy for the Czech Re­pub­lic.

In­cum­bent Czech Re­pub­lic en­voy Kr­is­han Ku­mar will be posted as In­dia’s next am­bas­sador to Nor­way even as Ravi Thaper – an IFS of­fi­cer of the 1983 batch – takes over as the en­voy in Ser­bia.

Mean­while, a hunt is also on for two new en­voys in Tokyo and Bangkok.

Although chief of pro­to­col San­jay Verma’s name is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion in this re­gard, the of­fi­cial said the Tokyo post­ing may go to a more se­nior per­son. Verma is a 1990-batch IFS of­fi­cer who has served as the In­dian am­bas­sador to Ethiopia and the con­sul gen­eral in Dubai.

The min­istry re­cently ap­pointed sea­soned diplo­mat TS Tiru­murti as the sec­re­tary for eco­nomic re­la­tions, a post Gokhale held be­fore tak­ing over the post of the for­eign sec­re­tary on Jan­uary 29.

A 1985-batch of­fi­cer of the IFS, Tiru­murti was In­dia’s high com­mis­sioner to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) since De­cem­ber 2013 and was for due for post­ing.

Tiru­murti headed the ter­ri­to­rial divi­sion deal­ing with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Mal­dives. He also served in Geneva, Wash­ing­ton and Jakarta.

Vi­jay Gokhale took over as the for­eign sec­re­tary on Jan 29

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