Foreign Secretary to get seven month extension

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NEW DELHI - Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is set to get an extension of seven months after her tenure ends in December this year. This would give her a two-year term in line with other top secretary-level appointments that the government has approved.

According to official sources, Rao’s extension has been approved at the top level and a clearance by appointments committee of the cabinet is a mere formality.

An official announcement is expected shortly, the sources said.

Rao, who turns 60 on Dec 6, had taken over as foreign secretary on Aug 1, 2009 - the second woman foreign secretary after Chokila Iyer in the 1990s - and her tenure was set to end at the end of December. An extension of seven months would mean that she would get a period of two years at the helm of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

This would be in line with efforts to bring a fixed term of two years for foreign secretaries, an idea which had been pushed by the External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.

The move had come after the cabinet secretary was given a fixed four-year term in July this year.

The tenue of foreign secretaries has varied from nine months to five years, and the ministry had been pursuing the fixed tenure concept for some time now.

— Indo-Asian News Service

Filed under: Diplomacy

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