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COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted official postings at Indian missions abroad: MEA

ANI | Updated: Sep 17, 2020 14:46 IST


New Delhi [India], September 17 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the movement of its officials to allotted stations of posting at Indian missions abroad, adding that all efforts are being made by the ministry to facilitate the movement of its officers through Vande Bharat Mission flights or under air-bubble agreements with partner countries.
In a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha regarding how many posts are lying vacant at the diplomatic level and consular level in Indian missions abroad, V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, said it is not possible to determine the exact number of vacancies since it is a continuous process with some officers demitting charge and others assuming charge in some of the 197 missions/posts abroad.

He said when new posts are created in Indian missions abroad, it takes time to fill them as indent needs are to be placed with Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which then recruits officers through a three-step examination process.
"Vacancies at Diplomatic or Consular levels in Indian Missions abroad are regularly reviewed and officers appointed. The COVID-19 situation has also led to temporary delays in the movement of personnel. It is not possible to determine the exact number of vacancies since this is a continuous process with some officers demitting charge and others assuming charge in some of our 197 Missions/Posts abroad," he said.
"Recently on account of the global pandemic of COVID-19, various countries including India enforced strict lock-downs and restrictions on movement. This has severely impacted the movement of officials to allotted stations of posting in a timely manner. Vacancies arising on account of delayed movements are temporary in nature, and all efforts are being made by the Ministry to facilitate the movement of its officers through Vande Bharat Mission flights or under air-bubble agreements with partner countries," the minister added. (ANI)

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