Sundeep Bhutoria

Welcome to my blog. Do share your views and thoughts with me. Request visitors to keep their comments brief and to the point. I shall respond to you to the extent possible.
Thank you.
ess bee

1A Camac Court, 25B Camac Street, Kolkata – 700 016, India.

Phone: 91 33 2281 6934

Fax: 91 33 2280 2930

Email: essbee@essbeeindia.com

For Events: events@essbeeindia.com
Appointments: assistant@essbeeindia.com
Invitations: secretariat@essbeeindia.com
WhatsApp Text: 9836383333

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Once again in Delhi


I came to Delhi on Friday afternoon. It was rainy day. The rains seem to follow me from Jaipur to Kolkata to Delhi. However, there has been a let up since Saturday and there is once again bright sunshine.
On Friday evening I went to 1, Amrita Shergill Marg at the residence of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's ambassador Ms Milena Santana Ramierez. She had invited about 20 people, including Prakash and Brinda Karat, few diplomats and a couple of senior editors. The theme was Indian food.
It was my first visit to her residence and no doubt the collection of world renowned painter Francis Newton Souza's paintings adorned the walls and added a lot of glamour to the charming old beautiful house.
Saturday, I had tea with Malashri Lala at India International Centre (IIC) and  updated her on the proposed program on the 29th in Kolkata since she was out of India for almost a month.
Before meeting Malashri, I had quick meeting with Fatos Kerciku, ambassador of the Republic of Albania, over coffee in his house. A common friend introduced us. Although India doesn't have a mission in Albania, but, for past 3 years, Albania has a full fledged mission here in India with an Honorary Consul General in Kolkata as well.
At the dinner over Ms Milena's, I learnt about an important piece of information from a senior bureaucrat from the Foreign Services that there are in all about 725 Indian Foreign Services officer at present, including all the postings in overseas missions and in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as well. On the other hand, a small country like Cuba, has more then 1400 foreign service officers.
No wonder, Albania did not have an Indian mission. In fact, I recollect, when I was travelling to Armenia a couple of years ago, Georgia was making world headlines. In Yerevan, I met Mrs Reena Pandey, who was the then Indian Ambassador to Armenia, and just asked her about the Indian Mission in Georgia. She told me that there was no mission in Georgia and that she was taking care of Georgia and when required she would travel to Sibley.
I think in the current era of globalisation and networking, India needs to pull up its socks. If India doesn't have a representative in many of the important countries, we lag behind others and miss out on many issues.
Pakistan Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar is on an official visit to India.
India has always been proud of its friendly foreign policy. Currently, the world is looking at India as an important global player. Just think, how can India live up to its expected global role through a cadre of mere 725 A grade foreign officers
It was 1994 or 1996 when I visited Luxembourg. At that time, there was no Indian Mission out there. After Geneva, Luxembourg was one of the leading banking   and insurance services destinations and was also emerging as a common platform for EOU countries.
Things have changed in our country and is still in  a flux. Let us hope for the best and I hope that some steps would be taken to ensure that we have more able foreign officers who would serve our interests in the global arena.
ess bee

No comments:

Post a Comment