In a major development in terms of appointment of staff for the next President of India, senior journalist Ashok Malik has been appointed as press secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved his appointment on Friday for a period of two years. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The development was confirmed after an order issued on Saturday by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
Here are things to know about the senior journalist Ashok Malik:-
– Ashok Malik is at present Distinguished Fellow at Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a policy think tank. He is head of the ORF’s Neighbourhood Regional Studies Initiative. Malik’s work focuses on Indian domestic politics and foreign/trade policy, and their increasing interplay. Also, on the broader process of globalisation and how it is influencing policy choices in not just the economy but in social sector spheres such as health, education and urbanisation. Malik joined the ORF in 2015
– A journalist for 20 years, Malik is a columnist for several leading Indian and international publications including Times of India, Hindustan Times and YaleGlobal Online. Previously, he served as a consulting editor to the Pioneer and Tehelka.
– In 2011, Malik co-authored a paper, “India’s New World: Civil Society in the Making of Foreign Policy,” published by the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney. It showcased the influence of Indian business, news media and overseas communities on the Ministry of External Affairs.
– In 2012, he published a book ‘India: Spirit of Enterprise’ which focuses on the growth of India’s leading private sector industries since 1991, and its role in the Indian economy.
– In 2012 only, he was a member on the bilateral Task Force on Perceptions commissioned by the Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne, to assess and make recommendations on the relationship between Australia and India.
– In June 2013, he was named to the Australia India Institute-ORF Chair for Indo-Pacific Studies. His work in this capacity focused on the bilateral relationship between the two countries as well as emergent challenges related to maritime and energy security, and new institutional architecture, in the Indo-Pacific region.
– The Indian government awarded him Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2016.