Slumdog Millionnaire' author Vikas Swarup to replace Syed Akbaruddin as MEA spokesperson?
New Delhi: Vikas Swarup, the author of Oscar award winning 'Slumdog Millionaire', is most likely to succeed Syed Akbaruddin as Foreign Ministry spokesperson, according to reports.
Media reports on Thursday claimed that Vikas Swarup is likely to take over on April 18.
The appointment order was issued by the Narendra Modi government late on March 25, reports said.
Swarup is expected to take charge as the MEA spokesperson after PM Narendra Modi's Europe-Canada tour.
Akbaruddin, a 1985 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is considered an expert on West Asia issues in India and has served in various capacities in that region including being Consul General at Jeddah from 2000 to 2004.
He was the director at Foreign Secretary's Office of the Ministry from 2004 to 2005. He has rich experience in nuclear-related issues and was on deputation at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna for four years.
Better known as Akbar, he returned to India in 2011. On December 7, 2011 he was named as the new spokesperson of the MEA. He had a month-long overlapping stint with the then Joint Secretary of the External Publicity Division of the MEA, and official spokesperson, Vishnu Prakash. Akbaruddin formally took over as the new JS (XP) on 7 January 2012.
Swarup, who is a 1986 batch IFS officer, was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh to a family of lawyers. He did his schooling at Boys' High School & College, Allahabad and pursued further studies at Allahabad University in Psychology, History and Philosophy.
Swarup is best known as the author of “Q&A”, a debut novel that was a runaway success and an international bestseller that was translated into 43 languages. It was subsequently made into the Hollywood film “Slumdog Millionnaire”. The film was released in January 2009 and won eight of the ten Oscars it was nominated for, the largest number of Oscars won by any film since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King which won 11 Oscars in 2004.
Swarup’s subsequent novels “Six Suspects” and “The Accidental Apprentice” also proved to be runaway hits.