Arindam Bagchi to be next ministry of external affairs spokesperson

India: Arindam Bagchi, an officer of the 1995 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), was on Thursday named the next spokesperson of the external affairs ministry as part of a reshuffle, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity.

Bagchi is currently joint secretary (North) in the ministry and heads the division responsible for relations with Nepal and Bhutan. The current ministry spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava, is set to become the next joint secretary (North), the people said.

Srivastava, an officer of the 1999 batch of IFS, had taken over as the spokesperson in April last year. Before that, he had served as India’s ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union.

Bagchi, who was appointed as joint secretary (North) in June 2020, had been in contention for the post of spokesperson last year. He has earlier served as the ambassador to Croatia (2018-20), the deputy high commissioner to Sri Lanka (2014-18), and as a director in the Prime Minister’s Office (2010-14).

He has also done stints in India’s permanent mission to the UN in New York and in the embassies in Peru and Spain.

Srivastava, who has degrees in engineering and business management, worked in the corporate sector before joining the IFS. He also served at the permanent mission to the UN in Geneva and headed the finance division of the foreign ministry.

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