Indian ambassador to speak at Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club

Indian Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok will be the guest speaker Monday, March 30, at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club.

He will speak on U.S.-India relations, the impact of Prime Minister Modi’s administration, economic conditions in India with the drop in oil prices, infrastructure investments and India’s plans for the establishment of universal social security. There will be a Q&A discussion.

The session will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. at the club, 17025 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe. Indian-inspired hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. Cost is $30 adults, $5 students and $35 at the door. Please reserve by Sunday, March 29, to or 858-756-0281, or visit

Venkatesan Ashok graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1982.

He has held diplomatic assignments in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Austria and Sri Lanka, apart from postings in the Ministry of External Affairs in different capacities. He was director of external relations in the Department of Atomic Energy between 1995-1998, after which he was appointed as India’s Alternate Governor and Alternate Permanent Representative in the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.

He was the Division Chief of Central Europe in the Ministry of External Affairs before his assignment as Ambassador of India to the Republic of Zimbabwe between March 2008-June 2011. He served as ambassador of India to the Czech Republic from August 2011-September 2014. He has taken charge as Consul General of India in San Francisco since Nov. 21, 2014.

Ambassador Ashok is married with one son. He speaks Chinese, English and several Indian languages. He has written a book, apart from several technical articles. His interests include reading and music.