The Ministry of External Affairs of India (abbreviated as MEA), commonly called as the Foreign Ministry, is the government agency responsible for the conduct of foreign relations of India. The Ministry lies under Government of India and is responsible for the country’s representation in the United Nations. It also projects other Ministries and State Governments when the latter have dealings with foreign governments or institutions.
The office of the Ministry is situated in the South Block building which also contains the Prime Minister’s office and defense office. Other offices are situated in Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, Shastri Bhawan, Patiala House, and ISIL Building.
- The Secretary-General was the highest most official in the ministry until the post was abolished in 1964. The delineation of responsibilities up to that time was as follows:
- The Secretary-General was the principal official adviser to the Prime Minister on an issue relating to foreign policy and was responsible for the overall supervision of the Ministry.
- The Foreign Secretary dealing with the American, Western and Eastern Divisions and the West Asian and North African countries of the Southern Division. In addition, she/he was in charge of the Divisions dealing with Protocol, External Publicity, and Historical Records. His/Her main work was to coordinate among the various Divisions in the Ministry.
- The Commonwealth Secretary dealt with all the Commonwealth countries excluding Canada which was the responsibility of the Americas Division. She/he was also in charge of the South Asian countries of the Southern Division, and the African Division.
- The Special Secretary was in charge of the administration of the Ministry, and posts and missions abroad.
The Foreign Secretary is the senior most civil servant who is the leader of the Department of Foreign Affairs and is supported by other secretary-level officers.
- Foreign Secretary — Vijay Keshav Gokhale
- Secretary (West) — Ruchi Ghanashyam
- Secretary (East) — Preeti Saran
- Secretary (Economic Relations) — T. S. Tirumurti
- Secretary (Consul, Passport, Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs) — Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay
- Joint Secretary (External Publicity) and Official Spokesperson — Raveesh Kumar
Development Partnership Administration (DPA)
Development Partnership Administration is an agency ambit of the Ministry of External Affairs. As India growing its strategic footprint, DPA was established in 2013 for effective execution of projects with professionals from diverse backgrounds. India has an elaborate programmes portfolio in its neighborhood, including Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, as well as Africa and Latin America.
It is led by Sujata Mehta, one of India’s foremost diplomats and former Indian representative to UN Conference on Disarmament, Geneva. Mehta is Special Secretary in the MEA.
The Ministry of External Affairs was the first government department to have a mobile app for smartphones with the show of MEAIndia on 29 July 2013. by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai. The app will assist users to apply for a passport, get visa information, and learn the location of Indian consulates worldwide.