New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Former India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Venu Rajamony on Friday assumed the charge as the Officer on Special Duty to the Kerala government for external cooperation.

Rajamony, a 1986 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, retired in November 2020 after completing 34 years of service. At present, he is Professor of Diplomatic Practice at O P Jindal Global University.

A career diplomat, he worked as the Ambassador of India to the Netherlands from 2017 to 2020 and as press secretary to former president (late) Pranab Mukherjee from 2012 to 2017.

Rajamony was on Wednesday appointed as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Government of Kerala (external cooperation) on part-time basis for a period of one year in the rank equivalent to chief secretary, a state government order said, adding that he will be initially based in New Delhi.

He assumed the charge on Friday here, an officer said.

As the OSD, Rajamony will liaise with the Ministry of External Affairs, foreign missions in New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, among others, and Indian diplomatic missions abroad on matters pertaining to the Kerala diaspora and opportunities for external cooperation in diverse sectors, according to the order.

He will also be responsible for monitoring of the progress of proposals received from foreign diplomatic missions and proposals initiated from the state government.

Besides these, Rajamony will advice the state government on rules and regulations governing all engagements with foreign governments and other entities, and 'pravasi' issues, it said.

The former diplomat will be responsible for exploring collaboration and cooperation opportunities for Kerala in educational, cultural, financing, skill development and employment, supporting the Kerala government in its interaction with foreign official and business delegations visiting the southern state, the order said.

He will also be following up matters arising out of official visits by the chief minister abroad, it added.