Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

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Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar 2019.jpg
Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar
Minister of External Affairs
Assumed office
30 May 2019
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded bySushma Swaraj
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
5 July 2019
Preceded byAmit Shah
31st Foreign Secretary of India
In office
28 January 2015 – 28 January 2018
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded bySujatha Singh
Succeeded byVijay Keshav Gokhale
Indian Ambassador to the United States
In office
1 December 2013 – 28 January 2015
Preceded byNirupama Rao
Succeeded byArun Kumar Singh
Indian Ambassador to China
In office
1 June 2009 – 1 December 2013
Preceded byNirupama Rao
Succeeded byAshok Kantha
High Commissioner of India to Singapore
In office
1 January 2007 – 1 June 2009
Succeeded byTCA Raghavan
Indian Ambassador to the Czech Republic
In office
1 January 2001 – 1 January 2004
Succeeded byP.S. Raghavan
Personal details
Born (1955-01-09) 9 January 1955 (age 64)
New Delhi, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)Kyoko Jaishankar
Children3 (Dhruva, Arjun & Medha)
Alma materSt. Stephen's College, Delhi (BA)
Jawaharlal Nehru University (MA, MPhil, PhD)
AwardsPadma Shri (2019)

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (born 9 January 1955) is an Indian diplomat turned politician who is serving as the current Minister of External Affairs in the Government of India since 31 May 2019. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He is also a Member of Indian Parliament in the Rajya Sabha since 5 July 2019, representing Gujarat. He has previously served as the Foreign Secretary from January 2015[1][2] to January 2018.[3]

He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977. He has previously served as the Indian Ambassador to the United States (2014–2015), China (2009–2013) and the Czech Republic (2001–04), and as the High Commissioner to Singapore (2007–09). S Jaishankar also had played a key role in negotiating the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement.

On retirement he had joined Tata Sons as the President, Global Corporate Affairs.[4] In 2019, S Jaishankar was conferred with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of the country.[5] On 30 May 2019, he was sworn in as a cabinet minister in the second Modi ministry.[6] He was made the Minister of External Affairs on 31 May 2019. He is the second former Foreign Secretary to head the Ministry of External Affairs at the Cabinet-level.[7]

Life and background[edit]

S Jaishankar was born in New Delhi, India to prominent Indian strategic affairs analyst, commentator, and civil servant K. Subrahmanyam and Sulochana.[8] He is the brother of historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam and S. Vijay Kumar,[9] former Rural Development Secretary of India.[10] He also has a sister.[citation needed]

He did his schooling from Cambridge School Srinivaspuri and is a graduate of St. Stephen's College at the University of Delhi. He has an MA in Political Science and an M.Phil and Ph.D. in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), where he specialised in nuclear diplomacy.[11][12]

Jaishankar is married to Kyoko, who is of Japanese origin[13] and has two sons—Dhruva and Arjun—and a daughter, Medha.[14] He speaks Russian, English, Tamil, Hindi, conversational Japanese, and some Hungarian.[8]


Joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1977, Jaishankar served as third secretary and second secretary in the Indian mission to the Soviet Union in Moscow from 1979 to 1981, where he studied Russian. He returned to New Delhi, where he worked as a special assistant to the diplomat Gopalaswami Parthasarathy and as undersecretary in the Americas division of India's Ministry of External Affairs, dealing with the United States. He was part of the team that resolved the dispute over the supply of US nuclear fuel to the Tarapur Power Stations in India.[8] From 1985 to 1988 he was the first secretary at the Indian embassy in Washington, D.C.[15]

From 1988 to 1990, he served in Sri Lanka as First Secretary and political adviser to the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF).[15][16] From 1990 to 1993, he was Counsellor (Commercial) at the Indian mission in Budapest. Returning to New Delhi, he served as Director (East Europe) in the Ministry of External Affairs and as press secretary and speechwriter for President of India Shankar Dayal Sharma.[17]

Jaishankar was then Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo from 1996 to 2000.[15] This period saw a downturn in Indo-Japan relations following India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests as well as a recovery after a visit to India by then Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.[18] Jaishankar is reported to have helped introduce future Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh.[19] In 2000, he was appointed India's ambassador to the Czech Republic.

From 2004 to 2007, Jaishankar was Joint Secretary (Americas) at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. In this capacity, he was involved in negotiating the US-India civil nuclear agreement and improving defence co-operation, including during relief operations following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.[20][21] Jaishankar was also involved with the conclusion of the 2005 New Defense Framework[22] and the Open Skies Agreement,[23] and he was associated with the launch of the US-India Energy Dialogue,[24] the India-US Economic Dialogue, and the India-US CEO's Forum.[25] In 2006–2007, Jaishankar led the Indian team during the negotiations on the 123 Agreement with the United States.[26] He also represented the Indian government at the Carnegie Endowment International Non-proliferation Conference in June 2007.[27]

Jaishankar was reportedly considered for the post of India's Foreign Secretary in 2013.[28][29]

High Commissioner to Singapore[edit]

From 2007 to 2009, Jaishankar served as India's High Commissioner to Singapore.[30] During his tenure, he helped implement the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) that expanded the Indian business presence in Singapore,[31] and oversaw a defence arrangement by which Singapore keeps some of its military equipment in India on a permanent basis.[32] Jaishankar also promoted the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas,[33] and IIMPact[34] in Singapore.

Ambassador to China[edit]

Jaishankar was India's longest-serving ambassador to China, with a four-and-a-half year term.[35] In Beijing, Jaishankar was involved in improving economic, trade and cultural relations between China and India, and in managing the Sino-Indian border dispute.[36][37] In 2012, he became the first Indian ambassador in ten years to visit Tibet.[38]

Jaishankar's tenure as India's ambassador to China coincided with several major developments in relations between the two countries.[35] His 2010 briefing to the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security regarding China's refusal to issue a visa to the head of the Indian army’s Northern Command led to a suspension of Indian defence co-operation with China, before the situation was resolved in April 2011.[39] Also in 2010, Jaishankar negotiated an end to the Chinese policy of issuing stapled visas to Indians from Jammu and Kashmir.[40] In 2012, in response to Chinese passports showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as parts of China, he ordered visas issued to Chinese nationals showing those territories as parts of India.[41] And in May 2013, he negotiated the end of a stand-off resulting from the encampment by China’s People’s Liberation Army on Ladakh’s Depsang Plains, threatening to cancel Premier Li Keqiang’s scheduled visit to India if Chinese forces did not withdraw[42][43] (See also 2013 Daulat Beg Oldi Incident). Jaishankar also briefed the media after the conclusion of Li's visit to New Delhi in May 2013.[44]

Jaishankar advocated deeper Indian co-operation with China as long as India’s "core interests" were respected,[45] and argued for better market access for Indian businesses operating in China on the grounds that more balanced trade was necessary for the bilateral economic relationship to be sustainable.[46][47] He was also involved in improving people-to-people contacts between India and China, promoting events that showcased Indian culture in 30 Chinese cities[48] and concluding an agreement with the Chinese government to introduce Mandarin in Indian schools.[49] In addition, he was also responsible for notable investment deals, such as the $400 million agreement for a Tebian Electric Apparatus plant in Gujarat.

As his tenure in Beijing was ending, Jaishankar was under consideration to become Foreign Secretary under then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. However, internal pressures from members of Singh's government who had served slightly more time in the Foreign Service scuttled the appointment.

Ambassador to United States[edit]

A 2014 photo of Jaishankar with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington DC.

Jaishankar was appointed as India's Ambassador to United States in September 2013. He took charge on 23 December 2013 succeeding Nirupama Rao.[35][50] He arrived in the United States amid the Devyani Khobragade incident, and was involved in negotiating the Indian diplomat's departure from the United States.[51] On 29 January 2014, Jaishankar addressed the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he argued that "the grand strategy underwriting [India-US] ties is fundamentally sound" but that ties suffered from a "problem of sentiment."[52][53] On 10 March 2014, he formally presented his credentials to US President Barack Obama at the Oval Office.[54]

Jaishankar was involved in planning Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden visit to the United States in September 2014, welcoming him upon his arrival and hosting a dinner in his honour for members of the Indian-American community.[55][56]

Foreign Secretary[edit]

On left to Prime Minister Narendra Modi is MEA Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and on the right side is National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

Jaishankar was appointed as Foreign Secretary of India on 29 January 2015. The announcement of his appointment was made following a 28 January 2015 meeting of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by the PM Narendra Modi.[1][2] Jaishankar is widely credited by Nepalese analysts for being the "original planner of 2015 Nepal blockade".[57][58]

Minister of External Affairs[edit]

On 31 May 2019, he was appointed to the Office of Minister of External Affairs.[59] S. Jaishankar was sworn in as Cabinet minister on 30 May 2019.[60] He is currently the Minister of External Affairs for India.

On 5 July 2019, he was elected as Member of Indian Parliament from Bhartiya Janata Party to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat state.

He succeeded Sushma Swaraj who was the External Affairs Minister in Narendra Modi's Government in his first stint. Sushma Swaraj did not contest the elections citing health reasons.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b ACC Appointment, Press Information Bureau, 29 January 2015
  2. ^ a b S Jaishankar, is the new foreign secretary, Hindustan Times, 29 January 2015
  3. ^ "MEA | About MEA : Profiles : Foreign Secretary". Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Tata Sons announces appointment of new president, Global Corporate Affairs". Tata. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Former Indian foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to be conferred with Padma Shri". Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  6. ^ Roche, Elizabeth (30 May 2019). "S Jaishankar: Modi's 'crisis manager' sworn-in as union minister". Mint. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Narendra Modi Government 2.0: Former foreign secretary S Jaishankar appointed as Minister of External Affairs". Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b c S Jaishankar to be India’s Next Envoy to Washington, First Post, 9 August 2013
  9. ^ "Mr S Vijay Kumar". Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  10. ^ Manager (14 March 2017). "S. Vijay Kumar". Resource Panel. Retrieved 4 June 2019 – via
  11. ^ "Dr. S. Jaishankar, Ambassador of India- Beijing. Embassy of India, Beijing, China". Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  12. ^ C.Raja Mohan and S. Jaishankar, "Nuclear Cartelisation Theory and Practice" Archived 22 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 12, No. 20, 14 May 1977
  13. ^ "S Jaishankar, Surprise Pick In Modi's Cabinet, May Play Key Role On Foreign Affairs". Pranay Sharma. Outlook. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  14. ^ Haniffa, Aziz (11 March 2014). "India's new US envoy presents credentials to Obama".
  15. ^ a b c "Dr. S. Jaishankar, Ambassador of India – Beijing. Embassy of India, Beijing, China". Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  16. ^ Dixit, Jyotindra Nath (4 June 1998). "Assignment Colombo". Konark Publishers. Retrieved 4 June 2019 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ "S Jaishankar, India's New Foreign Secretary: 10 Things you should know about him". India Today. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  18. ^ Japan-India Relations (Basic Data), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, November 2012
  19. ^ The importance of Shinzo Abe, The Hindu, 19 December 2012
  20. ^ ‘No too many holes in Indo-US nuke deal’ Archived 23 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine,The Hindu, 26 June 2007
  21. ^ "2004 Tsunami disaster – Consequences for Regional Cooperation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  22. ^ India-US Defense Relations, Embassy of India – Washington D.C., 28 June 2005
  23. ^ U.S.-India Open Skies Agreement, U.S. Department of State, 14 April 2005
  24. ^ "meetings of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue - The Aspen Institute". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  25. ^ The US-India Economic Dialogue, Indo-US Science & Technology Forum, 2 March 2006
  26. ^ US-India nuke deal: 1.. 2 ..3..go, Times of India, 22 July 2007
  27. ^ N-deal's not an arms control agreement: India, Rediff News, 26 June 2007
  28. ^ Jaishankar is PM’s Choice for Foreign Secy Post,Times of India, 10 June 2013
  29. ^ Interview with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid Archived 2 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The Straits Times, 5 July 2013
  30. ^ "Embassy Of India, Beijing". 16 January 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  31. ^ Singapore all set to attract skilled Indians, The Economic Times, 16 November 2007
  32. ^ India and Singapore sign defence cooperation pact, 10 October 2007
  33. ^ Pravasi Bharatiya Divas kicks off in Singapore, The Hindu Business Line, 10 October 2008
  34. ^ Indian professionals hailed as alternative global voices, The Hindu, 22 April 2008
  35. ^ a b c Jaishankar moving to U.S. after eventful tenure in China, The Hindu, 13 December 2013
  36. ^ India’s relationship with China expanding substantively: S. Jaishankar, The Business Standard, 20 May 2013
  37. ^ Disturbance of Peace at Border Can Vitiate Ties: India to China,The Economic Times, 21 August 2013
  38. ^ Indian ambassador makes visit to Tibet for first time in 10 years Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine,Global Times, 3 July 2012
  39. ^ PLA Presence in PoK Worries India,The Economic Times, 4 September 2010
  40. ^ Understanding Reached on Stapled Visa Issue, Says Indian Envoy, The Hindustan Times, 19 December 2010
  41. ^ Press Trust of India, Map Row: India Terms Chinese Action as Unacceptable,The Economic Times, 13 November 2012
  42. ^ Ranjit Bhushan and Manak Singh,The Inscrutables, The Sunday Indian, 2 June 2013
  43. ^ Press Trust of India, India-China Border talks Today; Defence Minister AK Antony to Visit Beijing Next Month,NDTV, 28 June 2013
  44. ^ Transcript of Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson and Indian Ambassador to China MEA Media Center, 20 May 2013
  45. ^ S. Jaishankar, India and China: Fifty Years Later, ISAS Special Reports, Institute of South Asian Studies Archived 29 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine, 23 November 2012
  46. ^ Opportunities More Crucial than Differences Archived 23 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine,Global Times, 14 December 2010
  47. ^ ‘Self-interest key to India-China ties’ Archived 23 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine, The Hindustan Times, 4 September 2009
  48. ^ Selina Sun and William Wang, Interview of Ambassador of India to China, Dr. S. Jaishankar Archived 23 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine, China Report, 4 September 2009
  49. ^ Language builds bridges for India and China Archived 1 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Global Times, 26 August 2012
  50. ^ "Meet Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the new Indian Ambassador to USA". Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  51. ^ "Business News Live, Share Market News - Read Latest Finance News, IPO, Mutual Funds News". The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  52. ^ Mathews, S. Jaishankar, Jessica Tuchman; Mathews, S. Jaishankar, Jessica Tuchman. "Ambassador Jaishankar on U.S.-India Relations". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  53. ^ Lakshman, Narayan (31 January 2014). "Jaishankar dispels bilateral "problem of sentiment"". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 June 2019 – via
  54. ^
  55. ^ Yashwant Raj, "PM Modi Arrives in US", The Hindustan Times, 26 September 2014
  56. ^ Modi to undertake over 50 engagements during maiden US visit, The Times of India, 23 September 2014.
  57. ^ "नाकाबन्दीका योजनाकारलाई किन बनाइयो विदेशमन्त्री ?". Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  58. ^ "नाकाबन्दीका डिजाइनर बने मोदी सरकारका मन्त्री". Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  59. ^ "PM Modi allocates portfolios. Full list of new ministers", Live Mint, 31 May 2019
  60. ^ Roche, Elizabeth (30 May 2019). "S Jaishankar: Modi's 'crisis manager' sworn-in as union minister". LiveMint.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Nirupama Rao
Indian Ambassador to China
Succeeded by
Ashok Kantha
Indian Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Arun Kumar Singh
Preceded by
Sujatha Singh
Foreign Secretary of India
Succeeded by
Vijay Keshav Gokhale
Political offices
Preceded by
Sushma Swaraj
Minister of External Affairs
30 May 2019 – Present