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  • Andhra Pradesh: Telangana TDP leader Dayakar Rao said extension in deadline to debate Telangana bill in assembly will be unacceptable
  • Assam: Union minister Oscar Fernandes arrives in Guwahati to attend the closing ceremony of 74th Indian Road Congress
  • Bihar: Maoists blast a panchayat building at Pio village in Giridih district in Jharkhand; no casualties, say police today
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  • Kerala: CM Tuesday demanded apology from AAP leader Kumar Vishwas for his alleged derogatory remarks against nurses from state
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  • Northeast: Agartala Municipal Council, oldest municipal body of northeast, Tuesday upgraded as a corporation
  • Odisha: Berhampur police Tuesday arrested 7 members of a gang involved in burglary cases on national highway in Ganjam dist
  • Punjab: AICC expands Punjab poll panel adding five new members, including former law minister Ashwani Kumar
  • Rajasthan: Jaipur administration extends holiday in schools till Class 5 to January 25 due to extreme cold condition
  • Tamil Nadu: CM urges PM to ensure release of 25 fishermen taken into custody by Lankan Navy to facilitate fishermen-level talks
  • 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: TDP MLAs today again demanded an apology from YSRCP leader Jaganmohan Reddy for his unparliamentary remark
  • Assam: Police arrested two persons in Lakhimpur this morning for trying to molest a girl in the moving car
  • Bihar: Three Maoists, wanted by police in Jharkhand, Chattishgarh, arrested in Patna today, say police
  • Chennai: SR to run Onam special train from Chennai to Nagercoil,Mangalore; Trichy to Mangalore, Renakulam from Aug 28-Sept 12
  • Delhi: Six cycle rickshaw pullers injured after a car hit them in Inderlok early today; driver absconding, say police
  • Gujarat: HC orders to ban yellow beacons atop government vehicles today after banning red beacons in the state
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  • Himachal Pradesh: Industries minister to address grievances of industrialists in Gagret on September 5, say officials
  • Jammu and Kashmir: Two killed and seven others injured Saturday in heavy firing by the Pakistan Rangers in RS Pura sector, police said
  • Karnataka: All official events cancelled till Sunday in the state due to 3-day state mourning following death of UR Ananthamurthy
  • Kerala: Heavy rains disrupted life in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kozhide dists; met dept predicts more rains till Sunday
  • Kolkata: Ex-police chief Rajat Majumdar today appeared before the CBI in connection with the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam
  • Madhya Pradesh: MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to arrive Bhopal today after three-day Dubai visit
  • Maharashtra: Congress names Narayan Rane as campaign chief for assembly polls; asks him to launch poll campaign September 1
  • Mumbai: Congress names Narayan Rane as campaign chief for assembly polls; asks him to launch poll campaign September 1
  • Northeast: Flood situation in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh remains same for the second consecutive day today
  • Odisha: A teenaged girl has been gang-raped and murdered in Ganjam Thursday night, police said today
  • Punjab: Five people killed and 15 injured in collision between a car and a Volvo bus at Sector 45 in Chandigarh early today
  • Rajasthan: Voting underway for student union election in Rajasthan; students created ruckus outside Maharani College in Jaipur
  • Tamil Nadu: SR to run Onam special train from Chennai to Nagercoil,Mangalore; Trichy to Mangalore, Renakulam from Aug 28-Sept 12
  • UP East: UP govt has unveiled a new electronic manufacturing policy, an official said Saturday
  • UP West: UP govt has unveiled a new electronic manufacturing policy, an official said Saturday
  • West Bengal: Ex-police chief Rajat Majumdar today appeared before the CBI in connection with the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam
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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