Foreign secretary gets extension till July 2011

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NEW DELHI - The cabinet Wednesday now approved an extension of seven months for Foreign Secreteary Nirupama Rao, ensuring that she serves a two-year tenure, in line with other secretary-level appointments.

The Union cabinet today approved the proposal to amend Fundamental Rule (FR) 56 (d) to provide for extension in service to the Foreign Secretary for such period or periods as may be considered necessary in public interest, subject to the condition that the total term as Foreign Secretary does not exceed two years, said a government press release.

It added that the extension was given as the post of foreign secretary has increasingly acquired critical dimensions from the national security and strategic perspective, and the need to ensure continuity and swiftness in the decision making process.

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 two-year tenusre at the helm of Indias external affairs ministry.

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

The tenure 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.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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