KATHMANDU, Jan 14: India has named Vinay Mohan Kwatra, currently its ambassador to France, as its new envoy to Nepal.
According to knowledgeable sources, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MoFA) recently wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this connection.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu Ajay Kumar handed over a diplomatic note to Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi on Tuesday morning to inform about the designate Indian ambassador to Nepal, according to MoFA sources. MoFA wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs immediately seeking approval.
"The government will soon approve his agreemo," an official at the MoFA told Republica Online on Tuesday.
It is learnt that the new Indian envoy will be arriving in Kathmandu to take up his new diplomatic assignment in February. Indian MEA is expected to make a formal announcement regarding his appointment later this month.
Kwatra is replacing Manjeev Singh Puri who returned home last month completing his tenure at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. Kwatra joined Indian Foreign Service in 1988 and worked in various capacities at MEA and India's diplomatic missions abroad.
Who is Kwatra?
Kwatra is a member of the Indian Foreign Service with an experience of nearly 30 years in a range of assignments.
After joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1988, he served as Third Secretary and then Second Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva until 1993, where apart from learning the French language, he handled work relating to the UN specialized agencies, as also the Human Rights Commission. During this period, he also obtained a diploma in International Relations from the Graduate School of International Studies in Geneva.
Between 1993 and 2003, he served as Desk Officer at Headquarters dealing with United Nations, and subsequently in the Diplomatic Missions in South Africa and Uzbekistan. Between 2003 and 2006, he served as Counsellor and later as the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Beijing, China. From 2006 to 2010, he represented India at the SAARC Secretariat in Nepal as head of the Trade, Economy and Finance Bureau.
From May 2010 till July 2013, he served as Minister (Commerce) in the Embassy of India, Washington.
Between July 2013 and October 2015, Mr. Kwatra headed the Policy Planning & Research Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and later served as the head of Americas Division in the Foreign Ministry where he dealt with India’s relations with the United States and Canada.
From October 2015 till August 2017, Mr. Kwatra served as Joint Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister of India.