External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup, credited with expanding the Ministry social media outreach and handling sensitive issues deftly, was on Thursday appointed India’s High Commissioner to Canada.
A 1986-batch IFS officer, Mr. Swarup penned his debut novel Q & A when he was posted in London between 2000 and 2003 and it was made into the Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire.”
(The novel has been published in 43 languages including Arabic, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Taiwanese, Thai and Hebrew.)
Mr. Swarup has also written for TIME, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Telegraph (UK), The Financial Times (UK) and Liberation (France), among others.
He had helmed the high-profile office in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) since April 2015 when India’s external engagement witnessed a major traction.
He will take it up soon
Mr. Swarup is at present an Additional Secretary and the MEA said he was expected to take up his new assignment shortly. Gopal Baglay, who is Joint Secretary in the Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan division in MEA, will succeed Mr. Swarup.
In his diplomatic career, Mr. Swarup has been posted in various countries including Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, Britain, South Africa and Japan.
Mr. Swarup had taken over charge as the MEA Spokesperson from Syed Akbaruddin, who is now India’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations.
The post of the Indian High Commissioner in Canada had been lying vacant after retirement of Vishnu Prakash. India has close ties with Canada in a range of key sectors and the country has sizeable number of Indians.
Born in Allahabad in a family of lawyers, Mr. Swarup had studied history, psychology and philosophy at the Allahabad University.