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Jaishankar is new foreign secretary; replaces Sujatha Singh


New Delhi (Jan. 30, 2015): S Jaishankar, India's envoy to the US, was appointed the new foreign secretary on Wednesday night replacing Sujatha Singh who had six more months to go. Jaishankar had only a few days to retire from IFS although his term as US envoy is until December 2015.

ET had reported on December 30 that Jaishankar, who had played a key role in getting Barack Obama to be the chief guest for Republic Day parade, could be recalled to New Delhi in a significant role where he can work closely with PMO. Son of renowned strategic affairs expert K Subramanyam, he was part of the Indo-US negotiations for civil nuclear deal as Joint Secretary (Americas) in the MEA.

A press release issued late on Wednesday said that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved curtailment of tenure of Sujatha Singh with immediate effect and appointment of Jaishankar for two years from the date of his take over or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Sujatha Singh, who was India's ambassador to Germany, took over as Foreign Secretary on July 31, 2013, when the UPA led by Manmohan Singh was in power. Jaishankar was in close contention for the post then. A batch junior to her, he was India's envoy to China and had excellent service record, particularly as envoy to China. Singh was the third woman to head the service after Chokila Iyer and Nirupama Rao.

She is the daughter of TV Rajeshwar, the former chief of the Intelligence Bureau, who was believed to be close to the Congress party brass. Singh is married to former Secretary (East) Sanjay Singh.