Press Secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee and senior diplomat Venu Rajamony has been appointed India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands. Rajamony will also be India’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Prevention of Chemical Weapons based in The Hague and cover the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and other international organisations based in the Netherlands, an official release said.He is expected to take up the new assignment next month. Rajamony joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986 following a two-year stint as staff correspondent of the Indian Express newspaper. Fluent in Chinese, he has served in the Indian Mission in Hong Kong and done two terms in the Indian Embassy in Beijing.Rajamony also served in the Indian Embassy in Washington DC as spokesperson and minister in charge of Press, Information and Culture from 2005 to 2007. He was Director (Chef de Cabinet) in the Office of Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha from 2002-2004. Rajamony also worked in the Indian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva as officer responsible for human rights and humanitarian matters from 1996 to 1999.In 1996, he was elected rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights representing India. Rajamony’s last posting abroad was as Consul General of India in Dubai from 2007 to 2010. He served as Joint Secretary, heading the Multilateral Institutions division of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry. Rajamony has been Press Secretary to the president since August 2012.His responsibilities included advising the president on matters pertaining to the media and overseeing the public interface of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Besides projecting the presidency in social media, he has also contributed in efforts to preserve, restore and improve the architecture and interiors of the Rashtrapati Bhavan by making it more accessible to the public and establishing new museums facilitation of documentary films and publications.The library of the President House was renovated during his tenure. It houses over 2,000 old and rare books. The Netherlands is one of India’s leading trade and investment partners. Total bilateral trade stood at Euro 4.9 billion in 2016. There are about 200 Dutch companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Philips and KLM in India. Over 200 Indian companies are present in the Netherlands. These include major IT firms such as TCS, HCL, Wipro, Infosys and Tech Mahindra.
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