The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) will finally have a new director-general next week, with Ajay Mathur taking over from R K Pachauri, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a former subordinate. Pachauri, however, will continue to remain at TERI in an as-yet unclear role.
Mathur has been relieved from his position as director-general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency, an institution under the Power Ministry, and was given a farewell by his organisation on Wednesday. Mathur, who started his career with TERI in the 1980s, is credited with ushering in an energy efficiency revolution in electric appliances.
Pachauri has headed TERI, which works in the field of sustainable development, energy and climate change, for the past 35 years. Last year, a junior colleague alleged sexual harassment by him, following which he had to proceed on leave. He was removed as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body of scientists that makes periodic assessment of climate change science, as well.
The governing body of TERI had picked Mathur as the new director general but remained silent on the future of Pachauri, who was back in office after a few months, following a reprieve from the court.
Mathur was initially supposed to assume charge in October, but the government roped him in as one of its negotiators for the climate change conference in Paris in December last year. He was then slated to join TERI in the first week of January but his resignation was not approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet in time. Currently, TERI’s chairman has no executive powers and there is no position of vice-chairman. It is not clear what role Pachauri will have in the organisation after Mathur takes office, possibly on Monday.