For literary excellence and dedication to diplomacy
Vikas Swarup is an internationally renowned bestselling author, television host and former member of the Indian Foreign Service.
In a diplomatic career that spanned more than three decades, Swarup served in various capacities in Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Japan. After his role as the Official Spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi (2015-2017), he was appointed India’s High Commissioner to Canada (2017-2019). In December 2019 he assumed the post of Secretary (West) in India’s External Affairs Ministry, a position he retired from in June 2021.
Swarup penned his first novel, Q&A, in just two months while posted in London. Q&A came out in 2005 and has since been published in 45 languages and won multiple awards. The film version, Slumdog Millionaire (2008), won seven BAFTAs, four Golden Globes and eight Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. His subsequent books, Six Suspects and The Accidental Apprentice, have been published in all major languages and are also being adapted for the screen.
Since October 2021, Swarup has been hosting a weekly program, Diplomatic Dispatch, on India’s Parliamentary Channel, which focuses on demystifying diplomacy.
Swarup has written for such publications as TIME, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Financial Times, and has participated in literary festivals around the world. In 2009 he received the U.S.-India Business Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award for “Contributing to the Cultural Ties that Bind.”