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  • UP East: Uttarakhand assembly Tuesday passed a new Lokayukta Bill modelled on Lokpal of the Centre
  • UP West: Uttarakhand assembly Tuesday passed a new Lokayukta Bill modelled on Lokpal of the Centre
  • West Bengal: Govt will set up a puppet museum at Kankurgachi in Kolkata to preserve art of puppetry, announces minister Upen Biswas
  • Andhra Pradesh: Heavy rains lash parts of Hyderabad inundating roads and throwing traffic out of gear
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  • Jammu and Kashmir: Pak troops resorted to unprovoked firing at Indian positions in Mendhar in Poonch dist along LoC today, say officials
  • Karnataka: Girls from many schools and colleges in Bangalore today staged demonstrations against crime on their gender in city
  • Kerala: Thousands of people today offered bali to propitiate their forefathers on the occasion of Karkidaka Vavu across Kerala
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  • Maharashtra: Lonavala police will ban entry of tourists at Bhushi dam to avoid any mishaps, say officials
  • Mumbai: One child killed and 4 hurt in a collision between a car and a truck in Navi Mumbai, say police
  • Northeast: Death toll in IED blast in Tebrongre in Meghalaya Friday rises to 3 as one more person succumbed to his injuries today
  • Odisha: A four-year-old child died after falling into septic tank in Kuchinda area of Sambalpur district today, say police
  • Punjab: On the directive of Akal Takhat, Shiromani Akali Dal cancels its proposed Sikh convention in Amritsar Sunday
  • Rajasthan: Government school teacher arrested from Bikaner for rape of 6 children, say police
  • Tamil Nadu: Police today received a bomb blast threat to Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple by some unknown persons
  • UP East: CM expressed his annoyance with officials over sudden spurt of communal violence in UP and particularly in Saharanpur
  • UP West: CM expressed his annoyance with officials over sudden spurt of communal violence in UP and particularly in Saharanpur
  • West Bengal: Security beefed at all Metro stations in Kolkata following a threat call of blowing up the Park Street station
Hardeep Puri bids farewell to foreign service
Hardeep Puri bids farewell to foreign service

Arun Kumar

Washington, Feb 27: Hardeep Singh Puri, one of India's most outstanding diplomats who long played a key role for his country on the world's high tables, bids farewell Thursday to the Indian Foreign Service after 39 years.

"All that I can tell you is that I enjoyed every minute of this long innings," said Puri, India's permanent representative at the UN for the last four years, who in a manner of speaking was born into diplomacy.

"I did not join the ministry of external affairs in 1974, as the record shows. I actually was born into the ministry because my father was also a civil servant," he quipped in an interview with IANS from New York.

"I have witnessed at close quarters the kind of transformation that has taken place" in the "young service of a young country" since independence in 1947, said Puri, a Delhi University alumni who briefly worked as a lecturer at Delhi's St. Stephen's College.

He recalled how back in 1956 he, as a four-year-old boy, and a younger brother just a few months old, travelled with his parents first by train to Mumbai and then by ship to Naples on their way to Belgrade, where his diplomat father had been posted.

"We were still on the high seas when my father received a telegram saying that he had been diverted from Belgrade to Bonn," Puri said illustrating how Indian diplomats then undertook arduous long journeys to take postings with no provision for children's education or medical coverage.

As his father was posted in places where there was no English language education, Puri and his brother studied in boarding schools in India and "did very well in spite of all that" and qualified for the foreign service. Puri hasn't really looked back since then.

"So I really leave with a sense of great satisfaction - both professional and personal," said Puri, commending a career in the Indian Foreign Service to aspiring young professionals for "the sheer enormity, the sheer breadth of experience" and the "fantastic opportunity" that it provides.

The next chapter in the life of the veteran diplomat, who has served as India's permanent representative in both Geneva and New York, literally begins with a book that he plans to pen come March after a few months of "total switch-off."

The first draft of his book on the Doctrine of Responsibility and on Libya should be out by May, said Puri voicing his belief that "a book is either written in one go or not written at all."

 

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Update: 27-February-2013

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