Telecom secretary J.S. Deepak named India’s new WTO ambassador

Telecom secretary J.S. Deepak has been shifted with ‘immediate effect’ and has been made officer on special duty in the commerce dept, says an official order


Telecom secretary J.S. Deepak. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Telecom secretary J.S. Deepak. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: Telecom secretary J.S. Deepak was Wednesday named India’s next ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from June this year.

A 1982 batch IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh, Deepak, who is at present attending the World Mobile Congress at Barcelona, has been shifted with “immediate effect” from the telecom ministry and has been made officer on special duty in the commerce department, an official order said.

During his earlier stint in the commerce ministry, he was India’s chief negotiator at the WTO and for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the mega Free Trade Agreement being negotiated by 16 countries.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a global international organisation dealing with the rules of trade between nations. India has been pushing for a trade facilitation agreement (TFA) in services at WTO which has 164 member countries. The WTO’s trade facilitation pact in goods came into force on 22 February.

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According to the official order, Deepak has been appointed the OSD in the department of commerce after the government upgraded this post from director to secretary. He will be functioning as OSD till 31 May this year, the order of Appointments Commitee of Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said.

The order also named him as India’s ambassador/permanent representative of India to the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation from 1 June till the date of his superannuation which is 31 July next year. Deepak is credited with successfully conducting the first ever e-auction of spectrum in 2010 that fetched government over Rs1.06 lakh crore in 2010, while also setting the roadmap for future auctions.

An MBA degree holder from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Deepak has worked as consultant with The Policy Project, Washington DC, a consortium of US-based Research Triangle Institute and Johns Hopkins University, to develop population and health policies for various countries and states in India.

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