The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay, is tipped to succeed Manpreet Vohra as the High Commissioner for Australia in Canberra this December. The Indian Ambassador to the EU, Santosh Jha, is set to replace Baglay in Colombo.

While the Indian government is tight-lipped about the postings, it has been learned that 1989 batch member Saurabh Kumar, currently Secretary (East) at Headquarters, will take Jha’s place in Brussels. Bagalay’s posting to Australia is important as India has very close ties with Canberra, with bipartisan consensus.

Santosh Jha, who was a key player in trying to push the India-EU FTA, returns to Sri Lanka, which is playing both India and China at its convenience. Reeling in an economic crisis like China’s other ally, Pakistan, Sri Lanka is still responding positively to India’s strategic concerns vis-à-vis China and is playing host to Chinese surveillance ships and ballistic missile tracking ships in the deep seaports of Colombo and Hambantota.

It is still not clear who will replace Saurabh Kumar as Secretary (East), with the name of Jaideep Mazumdar, Indian Ambassador to Austria, being mentioned as the front-runner for the key post.