S Jaishankar, former foreign secretary, a surprise pick in Team Modi 2.0

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 30, 2019, 07.45 PM(IST)

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Jaishankar was a surprise inclusion in the government and was seated on the dais in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan where the swearing-in ceremony took place.

Narendra Modi, who began his second term as Prime Minister, took oath along with his Council of Minister. Among them was former foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Jaishankar was a surprise inclusion in the government and was seated on the dais in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan where the swearing-in ceremony took place.

Jaishankar is a seasoned diplomat who was the Indian government's pointsman for China and the US. He is the son of late K Subrahmanyam, one of India's leading strategic analysts, and a key member of the Indian team which negotiated the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal.

The deal, initiated in 2005, took several years to craft, and was signed by the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh in 2007.

Jaishankar's appointment as foreign secretary in January 2015 had evoked a sharp reaction from various quarters over the timing of the government's decision to remove Sujatha Singh.

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He had earlier served as India's Ambassador to the US and before that to China.

A 1977-batch IFS officer, Jaishankar played a key role in resolving the crisis following the incursion in Ladakh's Depsang and the Doklam stand-off, handling the tough negotiations with Beijing.

Among other positions, Jaishankar has been India's High Commissioner to Singapore and Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

A graduate of St Stephen's College, Jaishankar is an MA in Political Science and an MPhil and PhD in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Jaishankar is married to Kyoko Jaishankar and has two sons and a daughter.

In 2019, Jaishankar was conferred with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of the country.

(With inputs from agencies)