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Vikas Swarup appointed India's next envoy to Canada

Swarup has been serving as the spokesperson of the MEA since April 2015

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Vikas Swarup
Vikas Swarup (Photo: Twitter)

External affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup, credited with expanding the ministry’s social media reach and handling sensitive matters with tact, was on Thursday appointed India's high commissioner to

A 1986-batch Indian foreign service officer, Swarup, whose debut novel Q&A was adapted as Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, helmed office since April 2015, when increased engagement with the world.

Swarup is at present an additional secretary and ministry said he is expected to take up his new assignment shortly. Gopal Baglay, who is joint secretary in Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan division in the ministry, will succeed Swarup.

As a diplomat, Swarup has been posted in countries including Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, Britain, South Africa, and

Between 2000 and 2003, he penned down Q&A while posted in London.

The novel has been published in 43 languages including Arabic, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Taiwanese, Thai, and Hebrew.

He has also written for Time, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Telegraph (UK), The Financial Times (UK) Liberation (France), and others.

Swarup had taken over charge as the MEA Spokesperson from Syed Akbaruddin, who is now India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations.

The post of the Indian High Commissioner in had been lying vacant after retirement of Vishnu Prakash. has close ties with in a range of key sectors and the country has sizeable number of Indians.

Born in Allahabad in a family of lawyers, he had studied history, psychology and philosophy at Allahabad University.

The MEA's social media outreach had witnessed major expansion during Swarup's tenure.

In December, the ministry had launched a 'Twitter Seva' service with an aim to centralising its grievance redressal mechanism by bringing over 200 social media handles under one platform.

In August, the MEA had launched an app, bringing websites and various social media handles of over 170 Indian missions on a common platform to further its public outreach.

First Published: Thu, February 16 2017. 23:55 IST