Tharoor led committee recommends lateral entry in foreign service

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To address the issue of shortage of diplomats, the parliamentary standing committee on external affairs, headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, has come up with a series of recommendations. One such recommendation is to facilitate the entry of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) into foreign service in order to expand the country's diplomatic corps.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

The committee expressed concern over the limited size of India's diplomatic corps and said that lateral entry and broadening the recruitment net is the need of the hour.

"The committee is concerned to note that the space for non-career ambassadors has considerably shrunk, as in the past there had been a number of highly illustrious ambassadors who were not drawn from the (Indian Foreign Service) and who served their posts with distinction," the report by the committee said.

"The committee is of the considered view that more eminent persons who have excelled in the field of community affairs, diaspora issues, foreign policy, area studies, literature, journalism etc should be considered for appointments as ambassadors/high commissioners," it added.

India's diplomatic corps, which comprises of around 2,700 diplomats, is way better than most countries. But, India lags behind China, Japan, France and US in terms of the number of diplomats.

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