The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet extended the tenure of Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra till April 30, 2024. Mr. Kwatra, who took charge on May 1, 2022, was earlier scheduled to retire on December 31. Mr. Kwatra (IFS 1988 batch) had succeeded Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who is now serving as the Chief Coordinator of the upcoming G-20 summit that will be held here in 2023.
The next year is expected to be heavy with diplomatic events. In January 2023, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi will be the ‘chief guest’ at the Republic Day celebrations. Besides this, a number of preparatory events consisting of all the G-20 member states and the ‘guest countries’ like Bangladesh, Singapore, UAE, Nigeria, Spain, Egypt, Netherlands, Mauritius and Oman, are expected to take place during the coming months.
Moreover, two of India’s immediate neighbours, Nepal and Bangladesh are expected to complete democratic transition within the next year. Election has already been completed in Nepal, where Mr. Kwatra had served as India’s ambassador before taking over as the Foreign Secretary. He is credited with playing a key role in stabilising India-Nepal relation during his stint in Kathmandu following the eruption of the Kalapani territorial dispute between India and Nepal.
Mr. Kwatra served as the head of the Policy Planning and Research Division of the Ministry of External Affairs between July 2013 and October 2015. He also served as the head of the Americas Division in the MEA. Between October 2015 and August 2017, Mr. Kwatra was employed at the Prime Minister’s Office as a Joint Secretary. Between August 2017 and February 2020, he served as the Indian ambassador to France.
As the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Kwatra is known to have paid special attention to the immediate neighbourhood of India. He travelled to Myanmar last week and met with its Foreign Minister U. Wunna Maung Lwin and other senior officials of the Myanmar government.
The notification from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet was issued on November 26.