New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) Author-diplomat Vikas Swarup, India's current High Commissioner to Canada, has been appointed as Secretary in the Consular, Passport, Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs division, with effect from August 1.
According to a circular issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, "The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Vikas Swarup, (Indian Foreign Service officer of 1986 batch) High Commissioner in Ottawa, as Secretary (CPV &OIA) in the Ministry of External Affairs with effect from 1-8-2019."
He takes over from Sanjiv Arora, former envoy to Lebanon, who took over as Secretary (CPV & OIA) on February 25.
Swarup, former spokesperson of the MEA and author of the bestselling "Q&A", which was made into a hit film "Slumdog Millionaire", returns to the capital at a time when India-Canada relations have turned frosty over the growing prominence of pro-Khalistani elements.
India on Wednesday banned the pro-Khalistan Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) that is run by a few Sikhs in the US, Canada and the UK. The Indian government is also to take up with Canada the anti-India and subversive activities of SFJ persons.
The visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India last February was also sullied with allegations of his cabinet having links with Sikh separatists.
Trudeau had received a lukewarm welcome by the Indian government during his visit as two of the four Sikh members in his cabinet -- Harjit Sajjan, who is Defence Minister and Amarjeet Sohi, Minister for Natural Resources -- allegedly support the Khalistan movement.
Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland that there is little hope for improving the frosty bilateral relations if Ottawa doesn't address India's concerns about the growing activities of Khalistani operatives and organisations.
New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) In what is seen as a major boost for the union territory (UT) of Ladakh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched winter grade diesel for the entire Ladakh region.
The Indian Oil Corp's (IOC) Panipat refinery has come up with a kind of diesel that can withstand the harsh winter conditions of the newly created UT where temperatures fall to sub zero of nearly -30 degree Celsius.
The winter grade diesel produced by Panipat Refinery for the first time has a pour point of - 33 degree C and does not lose its fluidity function even in the extreme winter weather of the region, unlike the normal grade of diesel which becomes exceedingly difficult to utilize. This winter grade diesel also meets BIS specification of the cleaner BS-VI grade diesel.
Amit Shah launched the supply of this special grade diesel in Ladakh via video conferencing from the national capital. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP MP from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, were present on the occasion.
Shah said that this special diesel for Ladakh has been developed to address the problem of loss of fuel during extreme winter conditions. The project is said to have cost more than Rs 50,000 crore.
The first tank truck containing winter grade HSD has been flagged off from IOC's Panipat marketing complex. Subsequent supplies of such diesel would be sent from the Jalandhar Terminal to the Leh and Kargil depots to meet demands of customers in the Leh-Ladakh region during peak winters.