Writer and Indian Foreign Service officer Vikas Swarup, whose book 'Q & A' was made into the hugely successful film 'Slumdog Millionaire', will take over from Syed Akbaruddin as the next spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs next month, according to media reports.
The 52-year-old career diplomat is currently posted in New Delhi as Joint Secretary (United Nations - Political), reported NDTV and is expected to take charge on April 18, 2015.
The order appointing Swarup was issued late last evening, reported Firstpost. Swarup, who joined the Foreign Service in 1986, has had postings in Turkey, United States, Ethiopia, UK and South Africa. He served as Consul General of India in Osaka-Kobe, Japan from 2009 to 2013.
According to his website, he wrote his first novel, Q&A, in two months, when he was posted in London. The book was published in 43 languages before it was adapted into a script for the Hollywood film 'Slumdog Millionaire', directed by Danny Boyle, that won more than 70 awards including four Golden Globes, 7 BAFTAs and 8 Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.
His subsequent novels — Six Suspects and The Accidental Apprentice — were also bestsellers.
Swarup was born in Allahabad and did his schooling at the Boys' High School & College, Allahabad and pursued further studies at Allahabad University in Psychology, History and Philosophy.
The Firstpost report stated that Akbaruddin, an expert on West Asia, is due to be promoted soon as additional secretary.