The government on appointed former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das as India’s G20 Sherpa till December 31, 2018, for the Development Track of the G20. “There are two tracks in G20 — Finance Track and Development Track. Finance Track is managed by the secretary (economic affairs) as India’s deputy to G20 and the Development Track is coordinated by the Sherpa. The Department of Economic Affairs will provide necessary support to the Sherpa,” the finance ministry said.
A Sherpa is a personal representative of the leader of a member country at international summits like G8 and G20. The Sherpa engages in planning, negotiation and implementation tasks. They coordinate the agenda, seek consensus at the highest political levels, and participate in a series of pre-Summit consultations to help negotiate their leaders’ positions. NITI Aayog’s former vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya was India’s last Sherpa at the G20 Summit