The Indian Council for Cultural Relations on Thursday named author Amish Tripathi the new director of Nehru Centre in London, reported PTI.

Tripathi will replace diplomat Srinivas Gotru whose four-year tenure ended earlier this year. ICCR President Vinay Sahasrabudhe said Tripathi would bring more visibility to the council’s flagship cultural centre. “We want every centre under the ICCR to be more vibrant and proactive to generate a proper understanding of the Indian culture abroad,” the Hindustan Times quoted him as saying.

Diplomat Pavan Varma, who was the first bureaucrat to head the cultural wing of the Indian high commission in London, agreed with Sahasrabudhe. He said Tripathi could change things around for the centre, which has lost a bit of visibility in the last few years.

Tripathi is the author of best-selling books such as the Secret of the Nagas and Sita Warrior of Mithila. Sahasrabudhe said Tripathi was chosen on merit after he applied for the post and appeared for an interview with the selection panel.

The Nehru Centre was founded in 1992 with Gopalkrishna Gandhi as its founder director. Actor and playwright Girish Karnad, who died on June 10, is among the prominent people to have headed the centre.