Indianmandarins has reliably learnt that the Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar (IFS:1977) may be given a two-year extension before he completes his tenure on 28 January 2017. Further, there is some plan for availing of his services by another six months till 29 July 2019.
This does not look impossible given NaMo’s intense desire to carve out for himself a niche place as a successful operator of the country’s foreign policy. His choice of Jaishankar as FS has proved successful till now in fulfilling his own desire. It is, though, not clear the role he may be assigned as part of the extension.
Initially, power corridors assumed that Sujata Mehta (Secretary West) as the heir apparent of Jaishanker for many reasons. First, she is the senior most officers next to the Foreign Secretary. Second, by assigning the charge for United Nations affairs to Sujata Mehta, Jaishankar has made it clear that he wanted to groom her as his successor in January 2017.