S Jaishankar, Ex-Foreign Secretary, Joins PM Modi's Cabinet

S Jaishankar had played a key role in negotiating the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement.

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S Jaishankar was India's top diplomat from 2015 to 2018


New Delhi: 

Former foreign secretary S Jaishankar today became a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers. PM Modi, after his stupendous victory in the Lok Sabha elections, took oath with his council of ministers at a grand ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

In March, Mr Jaishankar had received the Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Mr Jaishankar was the country's longest-serving foreign secretary in four decades and helped craft much of PM Modi's foreign policy. He was appointed in January 2015, just few days before his retirement, replacing Sujata Singh, whose term was abruptly curtailed by the government.

A former ambassador to China, Mr Jaishankar had played a key role in resolving the crisis following the incursion in Ladakh's Depsang and the Doklam stand-off, handling the tough negotiations with Beijing.

He was also a key member of the team that worked on the nuclear deal with the US. The deal, initiated in 2005, took several years to craft, and was signed by the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh in 2007.

A 1977 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service, Mr Jaishankar was reportedly former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's first choice in 2013 to replace Ranjan Mathai as Foreign Secretary. But Dr Singh was reportedly advised by senior leaders of the Congress to go by seniority, and Sujata Singh was appointed.

Earlier in his career, Mr Jaishankar had been posted in Moscow and several other European capitals, apart from Tokyo. He also served as First Secretary and Political Advisor to the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka.

After retiring in 2018, he took over as the Tata Group's president of Global Corporate Affairs.



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