Vikas Swarup, who was announced Thursday as India’s new High Commissioner to Canada, shot to fame when his novel Q&A was made into a Hollywood movie, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, which won eight Oscars. He is expected to take up his new assignment shortly. The novel has been published in 43 languages and was made into the Oscar winning film.
NEW DELHI – India is sending the internationally renowned author of Slumdog Millionaire and career IFS officer Vikas Swarup to be the new High Commissioner to Canada.
He shot to fame when his novel Q&A was made into a Hollywood movie, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, which won eight Oscars. He is expected to take up his new assignment shortly.
The novel has been published in 43 languages including Arabic, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Taiwanese, Thai and Hebrew.
Swarup, who was announced Thursday as India’s new High Commissioner to Canada, had been an External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson before landing the plum Canadian post. He has been credited with expanding the Ministry social media outreach and handling sensitive issues deftly.
Gopal Baglay, Joint Secretary in charge of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan Division in the ministry, is likely to succeed Swarup. Baglay earlier served as Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan and as Director in MEA’s External Publicity Division.
Swarup, a 1986-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, had replaced Syed Akbaruddin as the MEA spokesperson in 2015.
Swarup, a prolific writer, has also written for TIME, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Telegraph (UK), The Financial Times (UK) and Liberation (France), among others.
He had helmed the high-profile office in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) since April 2015 when India’s external engagement witnessed a major traction.
Swarup is at present an Additional Secretary and the MEA said he was expected to take up his new assignment shortly.
In his diplomatic career, Swarup has been posted in various countries including Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, Britain, South Africa and Japan.
The post of the Indian High Commissioner in Canada had been lying vacant after retirement of Vishnu Prakash. India has close ties with Canada in a range of key sectors and the country has sizeable number of Indians.
Born in Allahabad in a family of lawyers, Swarup had studied history, psychology and philosophy at the Allahabad University.