India’s former envoy to USA, Harsh Vardhan Shringla has taken charge as the new Foreign Secretary. A career diplomat and a member of the Indian Foreign Service since 1984, during a diplomatic career spanning over 35 years, he has held a variety of positions in New Delhi and abroad. He has served Ambassador of India to the United States of America, Kingdom of Thailand and as High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh. He has also served in France (UNESCO); USA (UN, New York); Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City); Israel and South Africa (Durban).
Shringla has served in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi as Joint Secretary (Director General) responsible for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Maldives. He has also headed the United Nations Political and SAARC Divisions in the Ministry. Earlier, he served as Director of the Northern Division dealing with Nepal and Bhutan and as Deputy Secretary of the Europe West Division.
Shringla has graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and has worked in the Corporate and Public Sectors in India prior to joining the Indian Foreign Service. He has pursued courses and published papers on conflict prevention, economic diplomacy, the Indian diaspora and India-Bangladesh relations. Shringla speaks French, Vietnamese and Nepalese apart from English and Indian languages. He is married to Hemal Shringla and has one son.
Taranjit Singh Sandhu goes to USA
Seasoned diplomat Taranjit Singh Sandhu has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to the US, replacing Harsh Vardhan Shringla. A 1988 batch IFS officer, Sandhu’s appointment comes days before the expected visit of President Donald Trump to India. As the top Indian diplomat in Washington D.C., he has to deal with the ongoing Congressional hearings regarding India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA). The other issue on the agenda will be to negotiate with the U.S. authorities, so that the number of H1B visas are not curtailed.
He had earlier also served as Deputy Chief within the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. The authorities will send Gopal Bagle to Colombo in place of Sandhu, who is presently dealing with duty on the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in New Delhi.