Presently the honourable Vice-President of India, Shri Md. Hamid Ansari was earlier a distinguished diplomat who joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1961. During his long diplomatic career, he has served as countryâ€™s Ambassador in a number of countries, including UAE, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Australia. He is indeed one of the authorities on West Asian Politics. He was also once the countryâ€™s Permanent Representative to the UN. Later, Shri Ansari has served many academic institutions â€” Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Observer Research Foundation. Apart from writing several academic papers and newspaper articles on West Asian Politics, he has also authored two books and edited another one, the last one being â€˜Testing Questions : Exploring Discontents in Contemporary Indiaâ€™. In 1984, he was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India.