Senior diplomat Gopal Baglay today assumed charge as Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry succeeding Vikas Swarup, who was made India's new High Commissioner to Canada.
A 1992-batch officer of Indian Foreign Service, Baglay was handling the sensitive PAI (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) division in the ministry till now.
Deepak Mittal is the new in-charge of the PAI division. Mittal, a 1998-batch IFS officer, has served in Bangladesh, Egypt and Israel in various capacities and as Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His last position was as Joint Secretary in CPV (Consular, Passport and Visa) division.
Baglay, soon after assuming charge, tweeted from official MEA account, "Delighted to take over as Official Spokesperson. Hope to have your cooperation in continuing the high traditions set by my predecessors.”
Apart from Spokesperson, his designation would also be Joint Secretary External Publicity (XP).
Baglay has earlier dealt with media as press counsellor at the embassy in Kathmandu. He has also served as director in the external publicity division of the MEA.
"I wish my successor Gopal Baglay all the best for the new assignment. He will take MEA communications to the next level, online & offline! Today I bid farewell as the Official Spokesperson, an extraordinary privilege and honour! You can follow me in my new role on @VikasSwarup," outgoing spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted while handing over the charge to Baglay.
Baglay has held many key positions including Director, XP, Director PAI and Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Here is a brief profile of Gopal Baglay:
Born: January 1966
Education: M. Sc. (Special) in Chemistry from Lucknow University, India
Joined Indian Foreign Service
1994 to 1996
Third Secretary at Embassy of India, Kyiv
1996 to 1999
Second Secretary at Embassy of India, Moscow
1999 to 2002
Special Assistant to High Commissioner, London; First Secretary (Economic)
2002 to 2005
Deputy Secretary (Central Europe) & Deputy Secretary and Director (United Nations-Economic & Social) at Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi
2005 to 2008
Counsellor (Press, Information & Culture), Embassy of India, Kathmandu
2008 to 2010
Director (External Publicity), Director (Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iran), MEA
2010 to 2011
Director (External Affairs Minister’s Office), MEA
2011 to 2014
Deputy High Commissioner, High Commission of India, Islamabad
Oct 2014 – December 2015
JS(States). In his capacity as JS(States), he was tasked with creation of a separate Department in Ministry of External Affairs to facilitate international outreach of India’s states .
Oct 2015 onwards
Joint Secretary dealing with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran in the Ministry of External Affairs.
Learnt Ukrainian and speaks Russian, apart from Hindi, Urdu, English and Nepali.