Jaishankar seeks waiver of cooling-off period for joining Tatas

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New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) Former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar is slated to join Tata Sons as its head of global strategy and has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a waiver of the mandatory cooling-off period for bureaucrats seeking commercial employment, well-informed sources said on Thursday.

The sources said Jaishankar, 63, who retired on January 28 after steering India’s foreign policy during his three-year tenure as the top diplomat of the country from January 2015, has been offered the position in the capital.

However, before seeking employment with the private sector, retired bureaucrats have to serve a “cooling-off period” of one year.

The cooling-off period used to be two years, but was cut by half by the current government in December 2015.

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They also have to give in writing that the organisation seeking to employ them is not involved in activities in conflict with or prejudicial to India’s foreign relations, national security and domestic harmony.

Jaishankar has now sought a relaxation in his case or else will only be able to join Tata Sons next year when his cooling-off period ends in January 2019.

It was not immediately known if the Prime Minister’s Office has responded to the former Foreign Secretary as yet.

Attempts to reach Jaishankar over phone for his comments failed as he didn’t answer calls. He did not respond to text messages either.

The highly-regarded career diplomat was said to have enjoyed the Prime Minister’s trust during his term in South Block as also a good working relationship with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

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He served in Moscow before the Soviet Union disintegrated and in Sri Lanka when the Indian Peace Keeping Force was deployed in the island nation.

He was India’s envoy to the United States, China, the Czech Republic and Singapore. He is largely credited with helping negotiate a peaceful resolution to the stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam last year.

–IANS

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