China Expert Vijay Gokhale Takes Charge As New Foreign Secretary

| January 29 , 2018 , 09:41 IST

Vijay Gokhale, an Indian Foreign Service Officer of 1981-batch who is considered to be an expert on China, took over as the new Foreign Secretary of India on Monday morning, a day after the end of term of S Jaishankar, the previous Foreign Secretary.

Previously, Gokhale had been serving as the Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs and had also played a key role in resolving the 73-day Doklam plateau standoff with  China.

The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar confirmed the taking charge of Gokhale in a tweet.

"An early morning start! Shri Vijay Gokhale, an Indian Foreign Service Officer of the 1981 batch, took over as Foreign Secretary of India today morning. He was Secretary (ER) at the Ministry before taking up his present assignment," Kumar tweeted.

Gokhale will be having a 2-year tenure as the foreign secretary, similar to the initial appointment of previous foreign secretary S Jaishankar in January 2015. However, last year Jaishankar had received an extension of 1 year, increasing his overall tenure to 3 years.

In the past, Gokhale has served as India's Ambassador to China from January 20, 2016, to October 21, 2017, and as India's top envoy to Germany from October 2013 to January 2016. He has also held posts of director (China and East Asia) and joint secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Gokhale's appointment to the post of foreign secretary earlier this month.