• Thursday, July 25, 2024


India picks new point person to handle Gulf affairs

Kirti Vardhan Singh, a green activist and also a minister of state for environmental affairs, will have concurrent charge of consular, passports and visa work and Overseas Indian Affairs.

Kirti Vardan Singh, Indian minister of state for external affairs (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has picked Kirti Vardhan Singh, a minister of state for external affairs, as the new point person for the Gulf region, WAM reported.

The development came days after India’s new council of ministers took oath to the Lok Sabha or the Lower House of the parliament on June 9. The country saw a new government led by prime minister Narendra Modi taking charge the same day, four days after results of the general elections were announced.

Singh, who is also the minister of state for environment and climate change, took his ministerial charges on June 11. He is known to be an environment activist and was elected as an MP in this year’s election from the constituency of Gonda in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh for the third straight term.

Read: Future of India-UAE economic ties banks on manufacturing in Gulf state: executive

He was given charge of the Gulf by Jaishankar in the division of the external affairs ministry’s work among ministers. The decision was notified publicly through an organogram, the WAM report added.

In his new role, Singh will have, among other subjects, concurrent charge of consular, passports and visa work.

Read: ‘Article 370’ banned across Gulf; a setback for Bollywood?

He will also handle Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA).

Both are key subjects in the Gulf because of the presence of a large Indian diaspora in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

India has a combined division for consular, passports and visas as well as OIA in its external affairs ministry.

Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi will continue to serve as the senior-most civil servant assisting Singh in the work.

Related Stories