New Delhi: India’s Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra has been appointed the new Foreign Secretary. He will take over when incumbent Harsh Vardhan Shringla demits office at the end of the month.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet note said it has “approved the appointment of Shri Vinay Mohan Kwatra (IFS: 1988), Ambassador in Kathmandu, to the post of Foreign Secretary upon superannuation of Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla (IFS: 1984) on 30.04.2022.”
According to his bio, Vinay Mohan Kwatra has an experience of nearly 32 years in a range of assignments. After joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1988, he served as Third Secretary and then Second Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva until 1993, where he handled work relating to the UN specialized agencies, as also the Human Rights Commission.
Between 1993 and 2003, he served as Desk Officer at Headquarters dealing with United Nations, and subsequently in the Diplomatic Missions in South Africa and Uzbekistan. Between 2003 and 2006, he served as Counsellor and later as the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Beijing, China.
From 2006 to 2010, he represented India at the SAARC Secretariat in Nepal as head of the Trade, Economy and Finance Bureau. From May 2010 till July 2013, he served as Minister (Commerce) in the Embassy of India, Washington.
Between July 2013 and October 2015, Kwatra headed the Policy Planning & Research Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and later served as the head of Americas Division in the Foreign Ministry where he dealt with India’s relations with the United States and Canada.
From October 2015 till August 2017, Kwatra served as Joint Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister of India. From August 2017 till February 2020, he served as the Ambassador of India to France. He took over as Ambassador to Nepal in March 2020.
Shringla had taken over as Foreign Secretary in January 2020. There was talk that Shringla may get an extension in view of the hectic developments in foreign policy, especially after the Ukraine crisis.
India’s Ambassador in the Permanent Mission in the UN, TS Tirumurti was given a three-month extension last month. Tirumurti’s “re-employment” was approved on March 17, till June 30, “or until further orders whichever is earlier”. Tirumurti is an IFS officer of 1985 batch.