R K Pachauri will lose ‘operational control’ over The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as soon as director general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency Ajay Mathur takes over as its new director-general, the think tank’s governing council has decided.
Mathur is expected to join TERI next week.
Sources said TERI’s governing council has accepted Mathur’s condition for joining that he should have full operational control over the institute with no interference from Pachauri in day to day functioning.
This was apparently a reason for the delay in Mathur joining the institute as its director general replacing Pachauri, who has been heading the institute for more than two decades.
Mathur was appointed as the DG in June 2015 after a woman researcher had accused Pachauri of sexual harassment, a charge former co-chair of intergovernmental body on climate change had denied. The researcher subsequently resigned accusing the top bosses in the institute of harassing her, a charge denied by TERI.
Initially, the technocrat was expected to join TERI in three months but the government asked him to continue till the Paris climate conference, where he was designated as the government’s chief spokesperson.
In an email to Hindustan Times in December 2015, Teri announced that Mathur will join the institute on January 5, 2016. That did not happen as the institute failed to provide clarity on what would be Pachauri’s role once Mathur joins.
This was a key condition put forth by Mathur for joining as Pachauri’s contract did not have termination clause meaning that he would continue to be part of Teri till his contract expired. “Dr Mathur will not like any interference in day to day running of the institute,” a Teri functionary said.
Sources said the governing council has now decided to re-designate Pachauri as executive vice-chairman having no role in the daily functioning of the institute. A source said the former DG will now provide “guidance” to the institute set up in 1974 for its long term goals. Pachauri had joined in 1092 as its director. Teri did not respond to email about new role of Pachauri.
Mathur is slated to join the environment and energy think tank once the government issues a formal order accepting his resignation. Sources said his resignation has been forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office for acceptance.