Ex-top diplomat S Jaishankar joins Modi cabinet

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar | PTI

A new entrant to the Narendra Modi cabinet, in its second term, is Padma Shri awardee and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar. He is the longest-serving foreign secretary in four decades.

A 1977 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service, Jaishankar was appointed foreign secretary in January 2015, replacing Sujatha Singh, and served until January 2018.

He was also instrumental in negotiating the Indo-US nuclear deal signed in 2007. As ambassador to China, he played a key role in resolving tensions between Beijing and New Delhi following the Doklam stand-off and the incursion in Ladakh’s Depsang. In 2012, he became the first Indian ambassador to visit Tibet in 10 years.

Earlier, Jaishankar has served as high commissioner to Singapore and the Czech Republic. He was also posted in Tokyo, Moscow and other European capitals.

Often credited for being the Modi’s government’s foreign policies, his expertise in issues related to foreign affairs is expected to benefit the BJP government in its second term. In March this year, he was conferred with the Padma Shri by the President of India.