Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government on Wednesday appointed retired Indian Foreign Service official Venu Rajamony as its Officer on Special Duty to interact with the central government, foreign and Indian diplomatic missions and agencies on the general issues related to the Malayali diaspora spread across the world.
The announcement of appointment of Rajamony, who also worked as press secretary to then President Pranab Mukherjee, as OSD to Government of Kerala (External Cooperation) was made by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today at a press conference here. He was also the Ambassador of India to the Netherlands.
Later, in its order, the Government said Rajamony was appointed on a part time basis for a period of one year in the rank equivalent to Chief Secretary. He will be initially based in New Delhi.
His job description includes to liaise with the Ministry of External Affairs, foreign missions in New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and diplomatic missions abroad on various matters including those pertaining to the Kerala diaspora and opportunities for external cooperation in diverse sectors and follow up of matters arising out of the official visits by Chief Minister abroad.
Besides monitoring the progress of proposals received from foreign diplomatic missions and proposals initiated from the state government, he should also advise the state government on rules and regulations governing all engagements with foreign governments and other entities, and 'pravasi' issues.
He has also been assigned to explore collaboration and cooperation opportunities for Kerala in educational, cultural, financing, skill development and employment and support the state government in interaction with foreign officials and business delegations visiting Kerala.
On his appointment, the state government said the large Kerala diaspora spread across the world has many general issues which need to be raised with the central government and diplomatic missions in a timely manner for expeditious redressal.
"The state government has to implement various programmes in collaboration and cooperation with foreign entities for the holistic development of the state and public welfare. A need has been felt to appoint a senior expert on part time basis to interact with the Government of India, Foreign and Indian diplomatic missions, agencies on these matters and to explore collaboration opportunities in various sectors such as academic, cultural, financing, investment etc," it said.
The government said such an officer with in-depth knowledge and experience on diplomatic matters would suitably advise the state government on various aspects of international relations.