Former diplomat wrote to PM Modi requesting waiver of the cooling-off period, will now report directly to Tata Sons executive chairman N. Chandrasekaran.

New Delhi: Former foreign secretary S. Jaishankar was appointed president, global corporate affairs of the Tata Group Monday. He will report to the executive chairman of Tata Sons, N. Chandrasekaran.

According to sources, the cooling-off period that bureaucrats have to serve before they can join the private sector has been waived off for Jaishankar. He had reportedly written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the waiver after he had been offered a position in the Tata Group.

“In his new role, he will be responsible for the Tata Group’s global corporate affairs and international strategy development, and Tata Sons’ international offices will report to him. Dr Jaishankar will work with Tata companies to help them strengthen their business presence and positioning in their respective geographies globally,” Tata Sons said in a statement.

A distinguished diplomat

Jaishankar had retired from office on 28 January 2018, after serving as foreign secretary for three years. He was credited with developing a strong foreign policy; in fact, his tenure was extended by a year in 2017.

Jaishankar reportedly enjoyed PM Modi’s trust, acting as his unofficial foreign policy advisor. He also accompanied the PM on foreign trips that secretaries weren’t usually part of.

In the course of his diplomatic career, Jaishankar served as ambassador to United States, playing a significant role in negotiating the nuclear agreement between US and India. He is also said to have played a key role in negotiating the truce with China in Doklam last year.

Jaishankar has also been ambassador to China, the Czech Republic, and High Commissioner to Singapore.

When government officials seek jobs in the private sector, they have to declare that the organisation they are joining does not work in areas that could be in conflict with India’s national security or foreign policy.

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  1. The Tatas are part of India’s comprehensive national power. They derive a large part of their revenue from global operations. In a sense, Dr. Jaishankar will be serving both his employer and the country.

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