Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri will be the Minister in waiting during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India on February 24 and 25.
This is largely a matter of protocol and the Minister in waiting will receive the President and will accompany the visiting dignitary to all important events.
The Prime Minister normally chooses the Minister in waiting and this is considered to be an honour bestowed upon the minister concerned. The Minister in waiting discharges an important function.
A former diplomat added that the Minister in waiting represents India and is normally tasked in ensuring that no gaffes take place.
Minister Hardeep Singh Puri is a retired officer of the Indian Foreign Service and has served as the nation’s permanent envoy to the UN in New York and as the nation’s envoy to Brazil before joining politics and becoming a Union Minister.
When the former US President Barrack Obama visited India in 2015, the present Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal was the Minister in waiting.