The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) on Thursday removed environmentalist R.K. Pachauri, who is accused of sexually harassing a colleague, as the institute’s director general, and replaced him with Ajay Mathur.
Mathur is currently director general of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the central government.
An official statement said the TERI governing council at its meeting held in Bengaluru on Thursday took the decision to appoint Mathur as the new director general.
“Mathur will take up his new responsibilities as soon as he is in a position to do so, subsequent to being relieved from his current responsibilities by the government after a brief period of transition,” the statement said.
According to TERI, the issue of succession to the current leadership was first discussed in detail by the general council in its meeting held in Mumbai in September, 2014.
Subsequently a well-known search firm was entrusted with the task of carrying out a search of candidates for the position.
“The decision to appoint Ajay Mathur is the culmination of an extensive search process and an intensive evaluation of candidates from across the globe,” TERI said.
“We hope the GC is certain that the 1,200 people working for TERI in different parts of the world would welcome this development,” it added.
Mathur holds a PhD and a Master of Science from the University of Illinois and completed his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Roorkee.
He began his career at TERI in 1986 and rose to the position of dean, Energy and Environment Engineering, from 1995 to 2000.
He later worked with the World Bank, Green Climate Fund, before taking over as the director general of the BEE.
Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail on March 21 but was directed not to enter the TERI offices till investigation is complete. On July 17, a court allowed the environmentalist to visit the offices, except two establishments in one of which the complainant worked.
After the sexual harassment complaint, Pachauri stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February and proceeded on leave from TERI as its director general.
Citing several SMS texts, e-mails and WhatsApp messages as evidence, the woman accused Pachauri of sexually harassing her and filed a complaint in February. Pachauri has denied the allegations.