Free Press Journal

Pachauri goes on leave, Ashok Chawla new TERI chairman


New Delhi: The Governing Council of the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) on Friday appointed former finance secretary Ashok Chawla as its new chairman and informed that one of his predecessors, R K Pachauri, has been asked to stay on leave until further notice.

“Dr. R.K. Pachauri, who had been head of the institute since 1982, will be on leave from TERI, TERI Governing Council, and TERI University till this (matter of alleged sexual harassment) is reviewed by the Governing Council given its sub-judice nature,” TERI said in a statement.

Chawla is a former Finance Secretary to the Government of India and a former Chairman of the Competition Commission.

“The council looks forward to his leadership of this important Institute. The council also inducted the new Director General, Ajay Mathur, as a Member of the Council who will operate with full executive powers,” the TERI statement said.

B.V. Sreekantan resigned as chairman of the council. He had been a member of the council for over 40 years and contributed immensely to its development.

The process for the replacement of Dr. Pachauri as Director General of TERI culminated in the appointment of Dr. Ajay Mathur as Director General with full executive powers on July 23, 2015.

“However, as Dr. Mathur was able to join only on February 8, after he was finally relieved by the Government of India, the Governing Council effected various interim arrangements so as not to destabilize the operations of the Institute,” TERI in its statement said.

TERI has a staff strength of 1200 people, of which over 33 percent are women. 14 of its 30 directors are women, the institute added.

“The Governing Council of TERI supports the rights of women and has consistently ensured the provision of a secure environment and a safe work place for its employees,” the statement added.