Mr. Navtej Sarna, presently Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of lndia to the United Kingdom.
A press release from the MEA said Mr. Sarna, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1980 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly.
Mr. Sarna, who is also a well-known author and columnist, had earlier served as Joint Secretary (External Publicity) and official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs between October 2002 and September 2008 in the longest stint for anyone so far in that key position.
He was later posted to Israel as the Ambassador of India before returning to MEA headquarters here.
He has also served in the Indian missions in Moscow, Warsaw, Thimphu, Geneva, Tehran and Washington.
His books include “We Weren’t Lovers Like That”, a novel; “The Exile”: a novel based on the life of Maharaja Duleep Singh; and “The Book of Nanak”, a work of non-fiction.
He has been contributing regularly to journals and newspapers in India and abroad including The Times Literary Supplement, The Hindu, India Today, Outlook and so on.
Mr. Sarna will succeed Mr. Ranjan Mathai, who has been holding the position since October 2013 after serving as Foreign Secretary for a little over two years.