Ministry of External Affairs (India)
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Ministry of External Affairs (Hindi :Videsh Mantralay) (abbreviated as MEA ) also known as the Foreign Ministry is the Indian government agency responsible for the conduct of India's relations with foreign countries. The Ministry is responsible for the country's representation in the United Nations and advises other Ministries and State Governments when the latter have dealings with foreign governments or institutions.
The Ministry was initially the Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, a holdover from the British Raj. It was renamed as the Ministry of External Affairs in 1948. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru held additional charge of the portfolio till 1964 and it was only then that a separate Minister with Cabinet rank was appointed. The ministry is responsible for the administration of Naga Hills, Tuensang Area, Indian Emigration Act of 1923, the Reciprocity Act of 1943, the Port Haj Committee Act of 1932, the Indian Merchant Shipping Act in so far as it relates to pilgrim ships, the Indian Pilgrim Shipping Rules of 1933, the Protection of Pilgrims Act of 1887 (Bombay) and the Protection of the Mohammedan Pilgrims Act of 1896 (Bengal) are also the special responsibility of the Ministry of External Affairs.
The ministerial team at the MEA is headed by the Union Cabinet Minister for External Affairs, who is supported by two Ministers' of State and civil servants.
- Union Cabinet Minister for External Affairs — Salman Khurshid, MP (INC)
The Secretary General was the senior most official in the ministry till the post was abolished in 1964. The delineation of responsibilities up to that time was as follows:
- The Secretary General was the principal official adviser to the Prime Minister on matters relating to foreign policy and was responsible for overall supervision of the Ministry.
- The Foreign Secretary dealt with the American, Western and Eastern Divisions and the West Asian and North African countries of the Southern Division. In addition, he was in charge of the Divisions dealing with Protocol, External Publicity, and the Historical Records. His main task was to co-ordinate among the various Divisions in the Ministry.
- The Commonwealth Secretary dealt with all the Commonwealth countries with the exception of Canada which was the responsibility of the Americas Division. He was also in charge of the South Asian countries of the Southern Division, and the African Division
- The Special Secretary was in charge of administration of the Ministry, and posts and missions abroad.
- Foreign Secretary — Sujata singh.
- Secretary (West) — Vacant.
- Secretary (East) — Ashok K Kantha.
- Secretary (ER) — Vacant.
The Ministry of External Affairs became the first  government department to have a mobile app for smartphone users with the launch of ‘MEAIndia’ application on 29 July 2013 by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai . The app will help users find out the nearest Indian mission or post for emergency consular assistance, if required, and also find out how to undertake the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra and Haj Pilgrimage . Less than 24 hours after its launch, ‘MEAIndia’ app has topped the charts of Apple Store.
Diplomats such as Gabriela Mistral, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, St. John Perse, Ivo Andric, George Seferis have distinguished themselves winning Nobel Prize in Literature.Indian Foreign Service and Ministry of External Affairs has been churning out diplomats-turned-authors with alacrity.,
- "REPORT OF THE Ministry of External Affairs 1949-50". Government of India. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Who is Who: Organisation Structure and officers of the Ministry of External Affairs of Republic of India". Ministry of External Affairs. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "REPORT OF THE Ministry of External Affairs 1964-65". Government of India. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "REPORT OF THE Ministry of External Affairs 1956-57". Government of India. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "MEAIndia app tops Apple Store". The Economic Times. 30 July 2013.
- MEA churning out diplomats-turned-authors with alacrity ANI,24 October 2013
|Wikinews has related news: Indian Parilament irate as Russia poised to ban Bhagavad Gita|
|Wikinews has related news: Russian court rejects move to ban Hindu scripture|
- Official website of the Ministry of External Affairs
- Ministry of External Affairs: Telephone Directory Complete
- Mobile App of the Ministry of External Affairs
- MEA Annual Report for Year 2010-2011
- Official website of the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations
- Ministry of External Affairs Library
- Research and Information System for Developing Countries
- India Is Global Challenges