Don’t change name of Foreign Service Institute: Karan Singh to Centre
New Delhi: Former union minister and veteran Congress leader Karan Singh has raised objections to the proposed renaming of the country’s Foreign Service Institute after late Sushma Swaraj and urged the government to reconsider the issue.
In a statement, Singh, former Sadr-e-Riyasat of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, said changing the name of the Institute was not advisable. He suggested that if the Institute’s name has to be changed at all, it should be named after the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru who laid the foundation of the modern Indian foreign service.
“Our foreign service institute (FSI) is known throughout the world as it trains not only our own foreign service officers but also those from among other friendly Asian, African and Western countries,” he said.
Singh said to change the institute’s name is “not advisable” and the new name ‘Institute of Foreign Service’ “does not make any sense”.
“If it has to be renamed, it should be after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was not only our first prime minister but also the creator of the modern Indian Foreign Service. In that case, it would be the Jawaharlal Nehru Foreign Service Institute.
“However, I suggest that there is really no need to rename this well established institute, and I would urge the Government to reconsider the matter,” the veteran Congress leader said.
Singh said he has seen news reports that the country’s Foreign Service Institute is to be renamed the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service.
He said he has high regard and even affection for Swaraj, with whom he worked closely for several years when she chaired the External Affairs Committee of Parliament. He said he has always been impressed by her sharp intellect, effective articulation and unfailing courtesy, but was against the renaming the institute after her name.