Hardeep Singh Puri, a veteran ex-diplomat and a confidante of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the country’s new Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

Puri’s appointment to the top ranks of the petroleum ministry follows a major shake-up of the Indian Cabinet on Wednesday, as the nation has been battling a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections and is scrambling to scale up its vaccination campaign, ahead of a possible third wave.