The Central government has appointed Ruchira Kamboj, a 1987 batch IFS and incidentally, the topper of her batch, as India’s new Permanent Representative to UNESCO. With this, IFS will regain some lost ground, as Ms Kamboj is replacing an IAS officer of 1979 batch, Vinay Sheel Oberoi who has held the Paris-based post, usually reserved for career diplomats, since September 2010. Oberoi, an alumni of Doon School and Delhi School of Economics, is already empanelled as Union secretary to government of India (GoI), and will soon get a posting in New Delhi.
Kamboj is currently Chief of Protocol to the GoI, the first woman officer to hold that position. A joint secretary-ranked officer in the ministry of external affairs (MEA), Kamboj will get the rank of an ambassador in Paris. That she can speak French fluently will be a help. She had earlier served in Indian missions in Mauritius and Paris as well. She was also the head of High Commission of India, Cape Town, South Africa, and was the deputy head in the office of the Secretary General in London-based Commonwealth Secretariat. Kamboj had also served as a counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India to UN, New York, where she played a key role in initiating reforms and expansion of the UN Security Council.
An alumni of Delhi University, she is married to New Delhi-based businessman Diwakar Kamboj. He has business branches in New York too. Mr Kamboj is an alumni of Mussoorie’s Wynberg Allen School and London School of Economics.