Sunday, September 22, 2019
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Interesting Times For MEA

These are interesting times for the Ministry of External Affairs with former foreign secretary S. Jaishankar having taken over as the external affairs minister (EAM). While there is justifiable pride in one of their own making it to Cabinet rank, there is uncertainty about what the future holds. How will the dynamics play out since the minister has a deep understanding of the workings of the ministry? And will he be tempted to recast the ministry as per his vision? And with the new EAM also having the PM’s ear on all foreign policy related matters—indeed, he’s seen as having been brought in by the PM to implement India’s role on the world stage—will it mean a reduced role for the present and future foreign secretaries? Especially as the National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, now elevated to Cabinet rank in his second term as NSA, has no small role to play in matters of strategic importance. The coming months could reveal important clues to all the PM’s men.