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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: Telangana government changed the name of NG Ranga Agriculture University to Prof Jayashankar University
  • Assam: Met department predicts thunderstorm with rain in Guwahati during next 12 hours; maximum temperature to be around 35C
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  • Chennai: Govt to construct 62 sub-stations to overcome frequent power outages dogging several areas of the state, says CM
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  • Karnataka: Government form a three member panel to suggest an alternative and simpler medical test to detect the rape crime
  • Kerala: Kerala Financial Corporation to expand its business tapping newer options such as technology, says its chairman
  • Kolkata: CM Mamata Banerjee Thursday said UNCTAD will set up a centre of excellence in entrepreneurship training in Kolkata
  • Madhya Pradesh: Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan inaugurates CM Helpline 181 in Bhopal today
  • Maharashtra: In wake of Malin village tragedy, govt instructs civic bodies to built a wall at foot hill near all villages in state
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  • Northeast: G Kameswara Rao today assumes charge as new chief secretary of Tripura
  • Odisha: Another round of admission process to fill up vacant seats in plus 2 streams in junior colleges will start from Aug 1
  • Punjab: Various programmes held across the state today to mark the death anniversary of Shaheed Udham Singh
  • Rajasthan: Private schools observed statewide bandh to protest fixing of fees by Rajasthan Fees Regulation Act-2013
  • Tamil Nadu: Govt to construct 62 sub-stations to overcome frequent power outages dogging several areas of the state, says CM
  • UP East: NHRC takes suo moto cognizance of a sexual assault case in Mathura July 19 and issues notice to UP police
  • UP West: NHRC takes suo moto cognizance of a sexual assault case in Mathura July 19 and issues notice to UP police
  • West Bengal: CM Mamata Banerjee Thursday said UNCTAD will set up a centre of excellence in entrepreneurship training in Kolkata
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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