The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday welcomed Subrahmanyam Jaishankar back to its folds, this time, as the External Affairs Minister.
"Welcome back! We are proud to have @DrSJaishankar as the new External Affairs Minister of India. #CabinetAnnouncement2019" External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
A surprise addition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Union Cabinet, the 1977-batch IFS officer and Padma Shri awardee served as the Foreign Secretary for three years, from 2015 until his retirement in 2018, under the Modi-led NDA government.
The External Affairs Ministry was previously headed by Sushma Swaraj, who opted out of contesting in the Lok Sabha elections citing her health. She spearheaded various rescue operations during her term, including those in Libya and Yemen. Swaraj was much-loved by people for being one of the most approachable ministers, known for hearing out and solving grievances on Twitter.
Jaishankar is regarded as a close aide of Prime Minister Modi and was also hailed as his 'crisis manager' in matters of foreign affairs.
After retiring from the Indian Foreign Services in January 2018, Jaishankar was hired by Tata Group as the president of its global corporate affairs.
The Padma Shri awardee is also known as the Indian government's key strategist for China and the US. In 2008, he was a member of the team which negotiated the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal under the UPA government headed by then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Jaishankar had earlier served as India's Ambassador to China and then to the US. He has previously been India's Ambassador to the Czech Republic and High Commissioner to Singapore as well. He was also the First Secretary and Political Advisor to the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.
It is believed that Modi first met Jaishankar when he travelled to China as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2012.
The former diplomat played a critical role in handling tough negotiations with Beijing, following the incursion in Doklam and Ladakh's Depsang.
A graduate of St Stephen's College, Jaishankar holds an MA degree in Political Science and an M Phil and Ph D in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Jaishankar is married to Kyoko Jaishankar and has two sons and a daughter.
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