Vikas Swarup
India's deputy high commissioner to South Africa and author Vikas Swarup gestures as he speaks to Reuters during an interview at his residence in Pretoria. [Representational Image]Reuters

Novelist and IFS officer Vikas Swarup takes over as the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) from 18 April, replacing Syed Akbaruddin.

Akbaruddin, who was appointed as the spokesperson in December 2011, is likely to be promoted this year, reports NDTV. 

Swarup has been working as the Joint Secretary in MEA (United Nations - Political) in New Delhi since September 2013.

A 1986 batch officer, 52-year-old Swarup has earlier served as the ambassador of India in Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Japan.

He is the author of the book 'Q&A' that inspired the film "Slumdog Millionaire", a blockbuster British drama film based on Indian slums and a slum dweller from Mumbai. The film, which received eight Oscar awards, was directed by Danny Boyle.

Besides 'Q&A', Swarup has written 'Six Suspects' and 'The Accidental Apprentice'.

Swarup did his schooling in Allahabad, the city he was born in, at t Boys' High School & College and studied Psychology, History and Philosophy at Allahabad University.