Indian foreign secretary Sujatha Singh cut short

At the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s external affairs ministry has been literally shaken from the top.
Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, whose performance made Modi less than happy, has been ‘curtailed’ (going by the official press note).
Singh resigned late on Wednesday after a meeting with the appointments committee of the Ministry of External Affairs. She still had seven months left in her tenure.
She is the first Indian foreign secretary to resign after AP Venkateswaran who put in his papers when late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi publicly said he was looking for a new foreign secretary.
The government has also announced her successor rather promptly — Subramaniam Jaishankar, who has a terrific track record as India’s ambassador to China and the US.Jasihankar, now envoy to Washington, turns 60 on Jan 31 – when foreign service officers are to retire unless already appointed for the top job.
By appointing Jaishankar as Foreign Secretary before that date, Modi has ensured he will be able to complete his full term of two years as foreign secretary.
Jaishankar has served in Japan, US, China and Singapore – all priorities for Modi – and has been the ambassador in three of them.
The son of India’s redoubtable strategic guru K Subramaniam, Jaishankar was responsible for easing the border tensions with China in 2013-14 and generating much investment from that country to the Indian states.
Of late, he has been responsible for untying many a tricky knot in Indo-US nuclear relations.
His expertise on the nuclear issue was evident when he played the lead role in paving the way for the Indo-US nuclear deal during the Manmohan Singh government.
Modi was extremely impressed by Jaishankar when the latter hosted his visits to China as Gujarat Chief Minister because the envoy could get his state many Chinese investments through unusually intelligent hard sell.
Foreign office mandarins here say Jaishankar was Manmohan Singh’s first choice as foreign secretary when the post fell vacant after Ranjan Mathai’s retirement.
Singh’s national security adviser also pushed for Jaishankar, they say, but Sujatha Singh was senior to Jaishankar.
And some say she was also known to be close to the Gandhi family through her father, TV Rajeswar, a former IB chief and governor of several states in his time.
But Modi has been wary of Sujatha Singh’s efficiency and capacity to deliver on his plans to make India a multi-aligned rather than a non-aligned country.
Some even suggest Modi may be sending a tough signal to Singh’s boss, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Many other top positions in the ministry are up for a change.
Sujatha Singh’s resignation letter:
Dear Colleagues,
I have today sought early retirement from Government service.
My life as a civil servant in the service of India, both overseas and in India, has given me the opportunity to serve not just the Government of India but the people of India and the idea of India that we have had the honour to represent as professional diplomats – the largest democracy in the world, teeming, vibrant, resonant with all diversities, cultures, languages and civilisational splendour. A democracy that demands patience in untangling the mysterious ways it works, a system that infuriates more often than not, but a system that surprisingly also delivers, more often than not, because of the people who hold it up, the people who make it run.
I believe that civil servants are among the millions of people who work towards enabling India to deliver, who work towards enabling India to realise its enor .. . – Times of India