#COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the manner in which governments conduct their affairs.
For the first time, the Indian President is virtually accepting credentials of all envoys posted to his country.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday accepted credentials of seven ambassadors and high commissioners by means of video conferencing.
Jacqueline Mukangira, the High Commissioner of Rwanda to India, joined diplomats from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Australia and Ivory Coast as they presented their credentials to the President.
According to the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry, the earlier plan was that the ambassadors were to present their credentials from their respective embassies.
However, all seven were escorted to the Jawahar Bhavan Headquarters of the Ministry of External Affairs.
By accepting the Letter of Credence from Rwanda’s Jacqueline Mukangira means she has officially begun her ambassadorial duties in India. “The virtual channel was the only option available,” High Commissioner Mukangira said.
This virtual ceremony has been implemented to avoid the spread of the deadly #COVID-19 pandemic.
In previous settings, the ceremony would be a spectacular event at the majestic Ashoka Hall inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“#COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge to the global community, and the crisis calls for greater global co-operation,” President Kovind said on Thursday.
Normally, prior to the President’s arrival, the ambassadors and high commissioners are escorted to the hall by the Chief of Protocol, Ministry of External Affairs and the Secretary in-charge for the respective global region or nation.
Before the President’s arrival, his bodyguards or PBG, line up along the red carpet.
Once the President arrives, the diplomats walk up to him one at a time and present their respective Letters of Credence.
India’s first citizen then accepts these letters and welcomes the diplomats.
The ceremony is followed by a brief discussion between the President and the diplomats.