Arindam Bagchi is India’s next envoy to UN in Geneva, replaces Indra Mani Pandey

16 Oct 2023

Arindam Bagchi was due to take up an ambassadorial posting earlier following his promotion but was asked to stay on as spokesperson in view of the G20 Summit
Bagchi is currently additional secretary in the external affairs ministry. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly, according to an official statement.
People familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity that four diplomats are being considered to replace Bagchi as the foreign ministry’s spokesperson, including Nagaraj Naidu Kakanur, joint secretary (G20), and K Nandini Singla, high commissioner to Mauritius.
Bagchi, from the 1995 batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), took over as spokesperson in March 2021 and had an eventful stint that spanned the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s standoff with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the country’s G20 presidency.
He was due to take up an ambassadorial posting following his promotion to the rank of additional secretary some time ago but was asked to stay on till the holding of the G20 Summit.
Kakanur was a key part of the team led by India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant that was involved in negotiations to finalise the consensus leaders’ declaration at the G20 Summit last month. He is considered to have the edge in the process to appoint the next spokesperson, the people said.
An officer of the 1998 batch of the IFS, Kakanur is a fluent Mandarin speaker and has done four separate stints in China. Besides two stints in the embassy in Beijing during 2000-03 and 2009-12, he served at the consulate in Hong Kong during 2003-06, and as consul general in the consulate at Guangzhou during 2013-15.