Sitting behind his desk, maskless, President Ram Nath Kovind made history on Thursday by accepting the credentials of seven envoys through video conferencing, the first time in Rashtrapati Bhavan's history that this was done digitally.
“The President remarked that digital technology has enabled the world to overcome the challenges posed by COVID 19 and carry out its function in an innovative manner,'' said a press release issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Usually one of the most colourful functions in the Rashtrapati Bhavan list of events, this is the first time that the forecourt of the grand building would have been deserted.
President Kovind accepted credentials from Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Senegal, Trinidad & Tobago, Mauritius, Australia, Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda through video conference today.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) May 21, 2020
Details: https://t.co/ADiBJtntEC pic.twitter.com/0D7P6VWrWi
The President of India accepted the credentials from Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Senegal, Trinidad & Tobago, Mauritius, Australia, Cote d' Ivoire and Rwanda.
"It is an exciting time to be in India, which is a civilisational power will have an enormous role to play in shaping the pot COVID world,'' said Barry O' Farrel, Australian High Commissioner to India, after presenting his credentials virtually, a statement issued by the Australian High Commission read.
"I believe this crisis will bring Australia and India closer together as two Indian Ocean democracies with complementary values," the statement added.
The trend of presenting credentials digitally has been on the increase in the COVID-19 crisis.
Syed Akbarbuddin, who bowed out of his role as the Permanent Representative to the UN with a namaste recently, was replaced by T.S Tirumurti, who also took over presenting his credentials digitally. Similarly, Gopal Baglay became the first Indian envoy to present his credentials digitally in Sri Lanka.