The UK High Commission is very important to India and generally a political personality is appointed as the High Commissioner. But now the Ministry of External Affairs has decided to send senior diplomats. Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, 1981 batch Indian Foreign Service officer and present High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, will be India’s new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in place of Navtej Sarna who is proceeding towards Washington DC after being appointed as India’s envoy to US. Sinha, 58, got into the foreign service in his very first attempt. He actually wanted to join the Army but got attracted to diplomacy in high school and college. He has been High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka since June 2013. Between 2009 and 2013, Sinha served as Additional Secretary in the MEA, heading the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran division of MEA. Prior to that, Sinha was India’s Ambassador to Venezuela (2007 to 2009), Consul General of India in Dubai (2003 to 2006) and Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi (UAE) (2002 to 2003). During 1998 to 2002, Sinha was Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India in United Nations, handling issues such as peace keeping, de-colonisation and most importantly, UN Security Council reforms. In the 1990s, he had a six-year-long innings with Pakistan (as deputy secretary-Pakistan in MEA and then Counsellor, heading the political section in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. As a young IFS officer, Sinha worked in India’s missions in Milan, Riyadh and Cairo. Hailing from Bihar, Sinha did his schooling both in Chesham (UK) and then at St. Michael’s High School, Patna. He did his graduation in history from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and MA from the University of Delhi.
VOL. 10, ISSUE 7 | OCT, 2016