OdishaPlus Bureau


For the first time, the Union Government has allotted 11 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers for Odisha in a bid to promote the State at the global level. These career diplomats will act as ‘Ambassadors’ of the State in their personal and official capacity to facilitate Odisha’s linkage with the outside world.

According to officials, Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to allot both veteran and young IFS officers to the State. Among these eleven officers are a number of Odia officers and others having a long association with the State.

They would be effective in increasing the outreach of the State. These officers are Ambassador to Brazil Ashok Das, Additional Secretary MEA Dinesh Kumar Patnaik, Consul General of India, San Francisco Sanjay Panda, Ambassador to Maldives Sanjay Sudhir, High Commissioner of India to Trinidad and Tobago Arun Kumar Sahu, Minister Commerce, Embassy of India, Washington DC Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Counsellor, Embassy of India, Croatia Jitendra Nath Majhi, Director Europe Division, MEA Madan Mohan Sethi, Deputy Secretary MEA BC Pradhan, First Secretary High Commission of India, Malaysia Lakshmi Kanta Kumbhar and Second Secretary Embassy of India, Algiers Manas Raj Patel.

The purpose of this innovative initiative is to connect IFS officers to the State for the effective conduct of economic diplomacy and para diplomacy. Along with their regular work, these officers will promote the interest of the State and help in attracting investment for the region.

These officers will promote Tourism, facilitate best practices adopted in the State, identify opportunities for exports from the State, foster Sister City and Sister State Partnerships, and encourage Cultural Contact as well as People-to-People Interactions.

The MEA has created a special division of economic diplomacy and states to coordinate the entire exercise and Odisha Government has notified a senior officer as Nodal Officer to coordinate the efforts of MEA.

Nitin B Jawale

Managing Director of IPICOL, Nitin B Jawale has been nominated as Nodal Officer by the Odisha Government for liaising with MEA. Jawale has expertise in tourism, investment, and industrial promotion and is considered fit for this innovative initiative, said a senior official.

These IFS officers will maintain contacts with State Government officials during their visits to the State, both on official and private visits as well as Home Leave also.

They will inform about the new developments taking place in the states allotted to them to all Head of Missions when they gather in India for the conference. Every year the list of IFS officers allotted to the State will be updated especially after a new batch of IFS officers join in MEA or some officers superannuate.