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Vikas Swarup takes charge as MEA spokesperson

Vikas Swarup said he hoped to continue the “sterling work” of his predecessor, Syed Akbaruddin. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Vikas Swarup said he hoped to continue the “sterling work” of his predecessor, Syed Akbaruddin. Photo: Sandeep Saxena  

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The former author said social media is the challenge for the future and would "learn on the job".

Hours after he returned to New Delhi from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-nation tour, Vikas Swarup took over as the new face of the External Affairs Ministry, its spokesperson, on Saturday.

Mr. Swarup said he hoped to continue the “sterling work” of his predecessor, Syed Akbaruddin, in the area of social media, in particular. “It is a great honour to be given the opportunity to serve as the public face of the Ministry of External Affairs. I look forward to a close and fruitful partnership with the media,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Akbaruddin, who has been designated as the chief coordinator for the India-Africa summit to be held in New Delhi in October, is credited with bridging the gap between the Ministry and the masses using social media. On Saturday, Mr. Akbaruddin posted a “selfie” with the Prime Minister on Twitter, describing it as “a rare opportunity” on the last day at work; he tweeted another picture of the new spokesperson and the Prime Minister, pointing out that Mr. Swarup was now “fully in the picture”.

Mr. Swarup, whose last position was Joint Secretary (U.N.-Political) in Delhi, is a 1986-batch officer and had served in several missions, including in the U.S., the U.K., and Africa. Asked what his priorities would be, Mr. Swarup said he was hoping to learn from the vast experience and expertise of his predecessor and would be “learning on the job”.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:48:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vikas-swarup-takes-charge-as-mea-spokesperson/article7117350.ece

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