Everybody in the government is bemused about S Jaishankar, former Foreign Secretary who had also served as India’s Ambassador to China and then USA, being roped in by Tata Sons as its new President, Global Corporate Affairs. Jaishankar, a 1977 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, will report to N Chandrasekaran, executive chairman of Tata Sons. His remunerations and associated perks are not known as yet, but as the former IFS has not completed a year of his retirement — he retired on January 28 this year — he needed to take special permission from the government to join a private entity. Generally, a retired civil servant can join outside the government only two years after retirement. Given the clout Jaishankar enjoys in South Block, getting permission would not have been an issue. One, why was the rule waived off. Two, why is Jaishankar so desperate to join the Tatas. Insiders reveal that Jaishanker was certain after observing the present setup in the Prime Minister’s Office that he will not be awarded any post retirement plump posting. Tata Sons Executive Chairman Chandrasekaran said that Jaishankar’s extensive experience and knowledge on international affairs would be highly valuable to the group as “we work to reinforce our brand and leadership globally”, according to a statement issued by the salt-to-software conglomerate. Here is what Jaishankar had to say: “The Tata group is an iconic institution known for its value-based leadership as well as India’s most respected brand globally. I look forward to being part of the Tata group and working with key stakeholders to make an impact.” The former Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar has also joined the Tatas as Director.
VOL. 12 | ISSUE 2 | MAY 2018