Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

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Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar 2014.jpg
30th Foreign Secretary of India
In office
January 2015 – January 2018
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded bySujatha Singh
Succeeded byVijay Keshav Gokhale
Indian Ambassador to the United States
In office
December 2013 – January 2015
Preceded byNirupama Rao
Succeeded byArun Kumar Singh
Indian Ambassador to China
In office
June 2009 – December 2013
Preceded byNirupama Rao
Succeeded byAshok Kantha
Personal details
Born15 January 1955
New Delhi

Subrahmanyam Jaishanker or S Jaishankar (born 9 January 1955) is an Indian diplomat who was Foreign Secretary of India from January 2015[1][2] to January 2018.[3] He joined Indian Foreign Service in 1977. He had previously served as Indian Ambassador to the United States (2014–2015), China (2009–2013) and the Czech Republic (2001–04), and as High Commissioner to Singapore (2007–09). Jaishankar also played a key role in negotiating the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement.

On retirement he joined Tata Sons as President, Global Corporate Affairs.[4]

Early life and background[edit]

Jaishankar was born on 9 January 1955 in New Delhi, India[5] to prominent Indian strategic affairs analyst, commentator, and civil servant K. Subrahmanyam and Sulochana.[6][5] He is the brother of historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam and S Vijay Kumar, former Rural Development Secretary of India.[7] He is married to Kyoko, and has two sons and a daughter.[5][8][9]

He did his schooling from Air Force Central School, New Delhi and is a graduate of St Stephen’s College at the University of Delhi. He has an MA in Political Science and an MPhil. and PhD in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), where he specialised in nuclear diplomacy.[10][11]


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 G. Parthasarathi and as under secretary in the America’s 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.[6] From 1985 to 1988 he was first secretary at the Indian embassy in Washington, D.C.[12]

From 1988 to 1990, he served in Sri Lanka as First Secretary and political adviser to the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF).[12][13] 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.[14]

Jaishankar was then Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo from 1996 to 2000.[12] 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.[15] Jaishankar is reported to have helped introduce future Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh.[16] 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.[17][18] Jaishankar was also involved with the conclusion of the 2005 New Defense Framework[19] and the Open Skies Agreement,[20] and he was associated with the launch of the US-India Energy Dialogue[21] the India-US Economic Dialogue, and the India-US CEO's Forum.[22] In 2006–2007, Jaishankar led the Indian team during the negotiations on the 123 Agreement with the United States.[23] He also represented the Indian government at the Carnegie Endowment International Non-proliferation Conference in June 2007.[24]

Jaishankar was reportedly considered for the post of India’s Foreign Secretary in 2013.[25][26]

High Commissioner to Singapore[edit]

From 2007 to 2009, Jaishankar served as India’s High Commissioner to Singapore.[27] During his tenure, he helped implement the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) that expanded the Indian business presence in that country,[28] and oversaw a defence arrangement by which Singapore keeps some of its military equipment in India on a permanent basis.[29] Jaishankar also promoted the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas,[30] and IIMPact[31] in Singapore.

Ambassador to China[edit]

Jaishankar was India's longest-serving ambassador to China, with a four-and-a-half year term.[32] As Ambassador to Beijing, Jaishankar was involved in improving economic, trade and cultural relations between China and India, and in managing the Sino-Indian border dispute.[33][34] In 2012, he became the first Indian ambassador in ten years to visit Tibet.[35]

Jaishankar’s tenure as India’s ambassador to China coincided with several major developments in relations between the two countries.[32] 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.[36] Also in 2010, Jaishankar negotiated an end to the Chinese policy of issuing stapled visas to Indians from Jammu and Kashmir.[37] 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.[38] 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[39][40] (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.[41]

Jaishankar advocated deeper Indian co-operation with China as long as India’s "core interests" were respected,[42] 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.[43][44] He was also involved in improving people-to-people contacts between India and China, promoting events that showcased Indian culture in 30 Chinese cities[45] and concluding an agreement with the Chinese government to introduce Mandarin in Indian schools.[46] In addition, he was also responsible for notable investment deals, such as the $400 million agreement for a Tebian Electric Apparatus plant in Gujarat.

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.[32][47] 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.[48] 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."[49][50] On 10 March 2014, he formally presented his credentials to US President Barack Obama at the Oval Office.[51]

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.[52][53]

Foreign Secretary of India[edit]

On left to PM Modi is Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and on 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]


  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. ^ a b c "Gulf News". Gulf News. 30 January 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  6. ^ a b S Jaishankar to be India’s Next Envoy to Washington, First Post, 9 August 2013
  7. ^
  8. ^ Who Is Subrahmanyam Jaishankar? 30 August 2014
  9. ^ Dhruva Jaishankar, Transtlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund
  10. ^ Dr. S. Jaishankar, Ambassador of India- Beijing. Embassy of India, Beijing, China
  11. ^ C.Raja Mohan and S. Jaishankar, "Nuclear Cartelisation Theory and Practice", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 12, No. 20, 14 May 1977
  12. ^ a b c Dr. S. Jaishankar, Ambassador of India – Beijing. Embassy of India, Beijing, China
  13. ^ Assignment Colombo, Konark Publishers, 1997, pg. 283
  14. ^ "S Jaishankar, India's New Foreign Secretary: 10 Things you should know about him". India Today. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  15. ^ Japan-India Relations (Basic Data), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, November 2012
  16. ^ The importance of Shinzo Abe, The Hindu, 19 December 2012
  17. ^ ‘No too many holes in Indo-US nuke deal’,The Hindu, 26 June 2007
  18. ^ 2004 Tsunami disaster – Consequences for Regional Cooperation
  19. ^ India-US Defense Relations, Embassy of India – Washington D.C., 28 June 2005
  20. ^ U.S.-India Open Skies Agreement, U.S. Department of State, 14 April 2005
  21. ^ meetings of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue | The Aspen Institute
  22. ^ The US-India Economic Dialogue, Indo-US Science & Technology Forum, 2 March 2006
  23. ^ US-India nuke deal: 1.. 2 ..3..go, Times of India, 22 July 2007
  24. ^ N-deal's not an arms control agreement: India, Rediff News, 26 June 2007
  25. ^ Jaishankar is PM’s Choice for Foreign Secy Post,Times of India, 10 June 2013
  26. ^ Interview with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, The Straits Times, 5 July 2013
  27. ^ Dr. S. Jaishankar, Ambassador of India – Beijing. Embassy of India, Beijing, China
  28. ^ Singapore all set to attract skilled Indians, The Economic Times, 16 November 2007
  29. ^ India and Singapore sign defence cooperation pact, 10 October 2007
  30. ^ Pravasi Bharatiya Divas kicks off in Singapore, The Hindu Business Line, 10 October 2008
  31. ^ Indian professionals hailed as alternative global voices, The Hindu, 22 April 2008
  32. ^ a b c Jaishankar moving to U.S. after eventful tenure in China, The Hindu, 13 December 2013
  33. ^ India’s relationship with China expanding substantively: S. Jaishankar, The Business Standard, 20 May 2013
  34. ^ Disturbance of Peace at Border Can Vitiate Ties: India to China,The Economic Times, 21 August 2013
  35. ^ Indian ambassador makes visit to Tibet for first time in 10 years,Global Times, 3 July 2012
  36. ^ PLA Presence in PoK Worries India,The Economic Times, 4 September 2010
  37. ^ Understanding Reached on Stapled Visa Issue, Says Indian Envoy, The Hindustan Times, 19 December 2010
  38. ^ Press Trust of India, Map Row: India Terms Chinese Action as Unacceptable,The Economic Times, 13 November 2012
  39. ^ Ranjit Bhushan and Manak Singh,The Inscrutables, The Sunday Indian, 2 June 2013
  40. ^ Press Trust of India, India-China Border talks Today; Defence Minister AK Antony to Visit Beijing Next Month,NDTV, 28 June 2013
  41. ^ Transcript of Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson and Indian Ambassador to China MEA Media Center, 20 May 2013
  42. ^ S. Jaishankar, India and China: Fifty Years Later, ISAS Special Reports, Institute of South Asian Studies, 23 November 2012
  43. ^ Opportunities More Crucial than Differences,Global Times, 14 December 2010
  44. ^ ‘Self-interest key to India-China ties’, The Hindustan Times, 4 September 2009
  45. ^ Selina Sun and William Wang, Interview of Ambassador of India to China, Dr. S. Jaishankar, China Report, 4 September 2009
  46. ^ Language builds bridges for India and China, Global Times, 26 August 2012
  47. ^ "Meet Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the new Indian Ambassador to USA". Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  48. ^
  49. ^ Ambassador Jaishankar On US India Relations
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^ Yashwant Raj, "PM Modi Arrives in US", The Hindustan Times, 26 September 2014
  53. ^ Modi to undertake over 50 engagements during maiden US visit, The Times of India, 23 September 2014.

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