Monday, July 22, 2013

TERI Meri Kahaani: Corridor's love for RK Pachauri-headed energy institute

Pachauri with former diplomat & Vice-President Ansari
NEW Delhi-headquartered The Energy and Resources Institute, popularly called TERI, has wooed a number of senior IAS officers with keen interest in environment, climate change and energy, and also a compulsion to stay back in New Delhi. Dr RK Pachauri-headed institute is recognized by the government as one where a senior IAS officer can work after taking leave from the government. In addition to current DoPT secretary and 1979 batch IAS Dr Syamal Kumar Sarkar, the other IAS officers who were TERI fellows include...
1977 batch IAS Rakesh Kacker, now retired, 1980 batch UP cadre IAS Rajeev Kher, 1983 batch Himachal Pradesh cadre IAS Dr Asha Ram Sihag, just to name a few. It was a win-win situation for all those outstanding officers. One, they could use their stay at Teri as a cooling off period, thereby continuing to stay in Delhi. Second, after a couple of years at Teri, they turn experts on matters related to energy and sustainability. In most cases, an officer takes the following route: he completes his Central deputation tenure, joins the state government, takes leave after a few months and then joins Teri as a fellow. The officer can't retain his office accommodation in Delhi as he is technically a state government officer on leave, but can certainly enjoy Teri's salary and perks. Once the cooling off period gets over, he rejoins the Central government. The officers often join Teri when they are at the level of a joint secretary or additional secretary.
Secretary Sarkar worked at Teri, first as a fellow and then as senior fellow, for almost nine years. And many of his published papers have energy as their subject matters. Another IAS, Rajeev Kher spent three years at Teri between 2003 and 2006. Kher who did his post-graduation both in chemistry and economics, is also an LLB, and a diploma holder in environmental law. Now, working as an additional secretary in the ministry of commerce, Kher had earlier worked in cabinet secretariat and ministry of environment and forests.
Himachal cadre Sihag worked at Teri between 2001 and 2004. A Delhi IIT product, Sihag is a PhD in economics from Cornell University in US. He was also a senior adviser to executive director in Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Some officers do join Teri even after retirement. Former environment and forests secretary and 1969 batch IAS, Dr Prodipto Ghosh, for example, is now a Distinguished Fellow at the institute.

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