Vikram Doraiswamy(45), although a Tamilian, can speak a little Bengali. It is because his mother-in-law is from Bengal and his wife is comfortable speaking in Bengali. From the 1992 batch of the IFS, he was India’s High Commissioner in Afghanistan and was in charge of various international organizations and summits. He also served as a secretary to Dr Manmohan Singh on the Race Course Road, in keeping with the tradition of deputing a young officer as personal secretary to the PM.
Brajesh Mishra, Principal Secretary to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and National Security Advisor, introduced the practice of appointing two personal secretaries to the Prime Minister. One, an IAS officer who would focus on the country’s internal affairs, and maintain the channels of contact between the Cabinet, Chief Ministers and governors and the Prime Minister. The other, an IFS Officer. He would be the Prime Minister’s liaison officer with foreign ministers and all other statesmen in the world. Manmohan Singh continued with the practice.
Doraiswamy, who studied History at Delhi University, was also a journalist. After his training ended in 1994, he went to Hong Kong and learnt Mandarin. In 1996, he went to Beijing. He worked there for four years. Vikram became the Deputy Chief of Protocol in Delhi. Then, in New York, he became a Political Counselor in Indian Permanent High Commission to the United Nations. Later, in South Africa’s Johannesburg he became the Consul General. After coming to Delhi, Vikram was in charge of SAARC for several years. In 2012, he was in charge of managing the BRICS summit.