tells us: Gopal Baglay
will take over as the ministry of external affairs's spokesperson any day after February 19.
Currently joint secretary in the MEA's Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran division, Baglay is from the 1992 batch of the Indian Foreign Service.
Baglay replaces Vikas Swarup, IFS batch 1986, who has been appointed as India's high commissioner to Canada, a post that has been lying vacant since Ambassador Vishnu Prakash retired several months ago.
Vikas Swarup will fly to Ottawa on February 28. He has to present his credentials before March 2 as the Canadian government has advised New Delhi that if Swarup doesn't present his credentials by March 2 he may have to wait at least four months.
Swarup, whose novel Q&A
was made into the Oscar-winnig film, Slumdog Millionaire
, has been the MEA's spokesperson for nearly two years.
At a time when India's relations with Pakistan are rather frigid, Baglay's rich experience on Pakistan will come in handy for the Modi government.
Prior to his current hands-on assignment in the MEA headquarters, he had served as India's deputy high commissioner in Pakistan.IMAGE: Vikas Swarup