Wednesday, January 23, 2013

PM for diplomats' “intellectual renewal”, gives special thanks to IFS wives

Tanmaya Lal, IFS, receiving SK Singh Award for 2011
INDIAN diplomats are well trained in craft of diplomacy, but what’s about their intellectual capabilities? On the occasion of the conferment of SK Singh Award for 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh emphasized on “constant intellectual renewal” for Indian Foreign Service officers. Also, Prime Minister specially thanked IFS officers’ wives (‘spouses’ would have been more appropriate) because...
“serving abroad and frequent relocation also require great support and sacrifices from the families, who often do not get the requisite acknowledgement.” Prime Minister added: “I would, therefore, like to make a special mention today of the role that Foreign Service wives and members of families play and compliment Shri Lal’s family on his receiving this honour.” Tanmaya Lal, a 1991 batch IFS officer, won the SK Singh Award for 2011. The function was held at 7, Race Course Road, the official residence of Prime Minister of India.
The PM further sought to dispel the perception that Indian diplomats are a clan that begins its mornings with English breakfast and ends its day with lavish cocktail dinners. “The mettle of civil servants is often tested in difficult circumstances and challenging environments. This is particularly true outside India, where resources at the disposal of our diplomats are limited and the environment can be often very unsupportive," he said. Here are some of the other observations made by the Prime Minister.
a) The Indian Foreign Service has always produced officers who are well-trained in the craft of diplomacy. However, they must supplement this by constant intellectual renewal to deal with a complex and fast-changing world.
b) Our diplomats must lead our efforts for fostering a climate for peace, stability and security for our country.
c) As Indian expatriates, investment and trade grow globally in numbers and significance, promoting and protecting their interests and welfare have become an integral part of our diplomacy.
d) South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, South-East and East Asia as well as Africa may not be the easiest places to work in, but they are becoming increasingly important to our future security and prosperity, and as such, they require increased and intensive engagement.
e) Close partnerships with all other wings of our government as well as the civil society in its broadest sense are equally important.
f)  I have no doubt that the present generation of Foreign Service officers, including the most recent entrants, will bring their commitment, dedication and skills to bear upon their onerous responsibilities. Our government remains committed to empowering and equipping them.