The tenure of India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has been extended for a year till January 31, 2024. Earlier, he was due to retire in January 2023.
A notification published in the Gazette of India on November 28 states, "The President of India is pleased to re-employ Taranjit Singh Sandhu (IFS:1988), an officer of Grade 1 of IFS, as Ambassador of India to the United States of America, for a period of 01 year with effect from 01.02.2023 to 31.01.2024 or until further orders."
An alumnus of St Stephen's and JNU, Sandhu joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1988 and has served in Washington DC thrice - as a young political officer handling the Congress between 1997 and 2000, as the deputy chief of mission between 2013 and 2017, and then as ambassador from early 2020.
During his career as Indian diplomat, Sandhu was responsible for opening the Indian embassy in Ukraine and also worked there as head of the political and administration wings. He also worked as Consul General of India in Frankfurt. He has served at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi in different capacities.
During his term so far, Sandhu has laid out India's policy with Ukraine, "tension" along the northern border with China that continued despite the Covid-19 pandemic, a western border with Pakistan that is "constantly at odds", and the influx into India of military hardware sent to Afghanistan for counter-terrorism operations.
India has been under pressure from the US to take a more forceful position against Russia's invasion of Ukraine and cease or curtail trading relations, especially energy imports. A senior US National Security Council official went as far as to threaten India with "consequences".