A major crisis of empty rooms and senior vacancies across embassies and South Block threatens the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The IFS simply doesn’t have enough senior diplomats to man Indian missions abroad.
Even as the foreign ministry is in the midst of a relatively ambitious program of expanding the strength of the number of foreign service officers, 23 posts of ambassadors and high commissioners will fall vacant by June next year; the majority of them will be retiring.
A total of 32 Indian Foreign Service officers are set to hang up their boots during the same period. In most cases, there is little clarity about their successors. New faces from the IFS are expected to do the endless rounds of diplomatic events at all major capitals of the five permanent UNSC members.