Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who had previously served as the High Commissioner to Singapore, Indian Ambassador to US, China and Czech, has been named the new Foreign Minister of India on Friday after the oath-taking ceremony that took place on Thursday, May 30 at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Jaishankar, who is the first career diplomat to handle the key portfolio, had initially served as the press secretary to former Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma. He played a major role in working out the nuclear deal with the US which was signed by the UPA government under former PM Manmohan Singh.
It is believed that Jaishankar, a 1977-batch IFS, came in touch with the current PM in 2012 when Modi travelled to China as Gujarat Chief Minister. In January 2015, the Modi government took a decision to replace then Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh with S. Jaishankar.
The Doklam stand-off in 2017 was among India and China's worst crises and the soldiers from both countries were engaged in an eye-to-eye confrontation for over two months. But the experienced diplomat Jaishankar, who had China expertise, led the negotiations to resolve the crisis. He also played a critical role in handling tough negotiations with Beijing, after the incursion in Ladakh's Depsang.
He also interacted with the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, during his time as India's High Commissioner to Singapore from 2007 to 2009.
In 2016, Jaishankar, who is the son of prominent strategic affairs analyst and expert Krishnaswamy Subrahmanyam, was invited as a speaker at the Enduring Ideas of Lee Kuan Yew Forum in Singapore to commemorate the legacy of Republic's founding PM on his death anniversary, on March 23. In his speech, Jaishankar said that former PM Lee not only built "Brand Singapore" but he was also the brand-builder for Asia's modern leadership in many ways.
He also stated that the after being a "driver of development" and serving as an example for the country, the former Singaporean PM evolved in the eyes of the world to be "sort of a geopolitical guru," guiding Asia and explaining the continent to rest of the world.
After a successful career as a diplomat, Jaishankar joined in 2018 as Tata Group's president for global corporate affairs. He was also conferred with Padma Shri, which is the fourth highest civilian award in India.