Friday, October 14, 2011

US struggles to find its ambassador to India; Indian bureaucrats race for an US posting

Ambassador Rao with Obama in White House
FOR an Indian diplomat or bureaucrat, a posting in Washington DC could be a dream come true, but US is struggling to get its ambassador to India after at least three candidates turned down the offer, reports originating from Washington suggested. The US is yet to find a suitable replacement after its ambassador Tim Roehmer left India in June this year.
Among those who refused to come to New Delhi as US ambassador include Strobe Talbott who had worked in State Department earlier, and John Hamre, president of US think tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Talbott who is head of US think tank, the Brookings Institute, reportedly has some health problems. The Obama administration has now begun the process all over again as not having the right person to head US embassy in New Delhi could be detrimental to US interests.
Meera Shankar with Hillary Clinton
Contrast this. Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers weigh an US posting crucial for their career growth. Even after retirement, Indian diplomats and bureaucrats consider a posting in America highly rewarding. Nirupama Rao who had served as India’s foreign secretary chose to become India’s ambassador to US post retirement in place of her batch-mate Meera Shankar. No one doubts the calibre of Rao as a diplomat, but many in South Block feel a highly talented serving IFS officer could have been given the chance. In another posting, secretary to Prime Minister and 1972 batch retired IAS officer MN Prasad has joined as India’s new executive director in World Bank. He has replaced Pulok Chatterji who was called back even before his term got over. Chatterji has recently joined as principal secretary to PM in place of TKA Nair.
For the PMO, sending their trusted men and women to US is also a strategic move as much as they are rewards for being useful. Both Rao and Prasad worked very closely with Prime Minister.

1 comment:

  1. I dont understand why she had to go to the US as the ambassador why could not a serving officer be sent, this shows nepotism, favoritism, political maneuvering still rampant in the civil services, this is why the country has come to such an impasse today, if these people only want to keep taking up posts why recruit any fresh IFS officers, let recruitment be done at death rather than retirement because looks like these people are never going to retire