“He is expected to take up his assignment shortly,” the Ministry of External Affairs announced earlier this week.
61-year-old Mathai will succeed Jaimini Bhagwati who took charge as the Indian High Commissioner in London last February but will take the reins from current acting commissioner Dr. Virander Paul. Paul oversaw the High Commission's Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations in the UK on October 2, 2013.
Mathai has held several ambassadorial roles previously including being the Indian Ambassador to France (in 2007); Indian Ambassador to Qatar and to Israel before becoming the Foreign Secretary. He has also held top roles in Indian Embassies in Washington, Brussels, Vienna, Colombo and Tehran.
Mathai left the post of India’s Foreign Secretary vacant in July 2013 for the UK envoy role. Sujatha Singh has since taken over the role of Indian Foreign Secretary.
This is not Mathai’s first diplomatic role in the UK either. He held the post of Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK in London between 2005 and 2007.
In addition to the high commission in London, India has two consulates-generals in the UK – one in Birmingham and one in Edinburgh. Meanwhile, the UK has a high commission in Indian capital New Delhi and deputy high commissions in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kilkata. The high commission offices aim to foster the foreign relations between The UK and India and to boost trade ties between the two countries.