NEW DELHI: Ashok Malik, a veteran journalist and former Press Secretary to the President of India, was on Tuesday appointed as Policy Advisor in the External Affairs Ministry in the rank of Additional Secretary.
The 50-year-old Distinguished Fellow of the prominent think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) will have a two-year tenure from the date he assumes charge "or until further orders, whichever is earlier", according to the decision taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
For Malik's appointment, the post of Director in the Indian Foreign Service Grade IV has been temporarily upgraded to Additional Secretary level in the Ministry.
Malik's appointment will be on "contract basis" with pay and allowances as admissible to an Additional Secretary-rank officer in the Government of India, the order said.
He served as Press Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind from August 1, 2017 to July 31 this year.
Malik, who was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour in 2016, is a senior journalist and columnist who has written on a variety of subjects in national and international publications, mainly on the subjects of politics, economy and foreign policy.
The 1969-born studied at La Martiniere College, Calcutta and graduated from Presidency College in the same city.
He began his journalistic career with the Telegraph newspaper in Calcutta in 1991 and subsequently worked for other leading publications like the Times of India, India Today and Indian Express.
In 2006, he turned a columnist and served at different points as a consulting editor to the Pioneer and Tehelka magazine.