Issue 6 | March 2016


From the desk of TERI North America

Dear Readers,

Through quarterly issues of the TERI NA Alert: voices from India, we bring to you TERI’s analysis on current & essential global issues and further opportunities for US-India partnership. The sixth issue of the TERI NA Alert showcases TERI’s achievements in the last quarter, and our aspirations for the year 2016.

We are also delighted to introduce to you, through this newsletter, TERI’s new leadership. Dr Ajay Mathur, former Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Government of India has joined TERI as Director General and Mr Ashok Chawla, former Chairman of the Competition Commission of India has joined as Chairman, TERI Governing Council. We are confident that their leadership and collective guidance will enable TERI to shape solutions for a transformative change and reach greater heights.

In the last quarter of the year 2015, TERI actively participated and hosted a range of events at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris. It was also decided to evolve TERI’s annual flagship event, the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) to the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDF). The WSDF will build on the fifteen year legacy of DSDS. In addition to providing opportunities for meetings and deliberations, the WSDF will allow us to collaborate on projects, both nationally and internationally as well as work as an independent entity. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) present an opportunity to maximize the reach and relevance of this platform. The Forum will host Summits across the globe to devise ways so that messages that are crafted at this platform are widely disseminated, leading to action. The first edition of the WSDF event in India will be the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS), and will take place in New Delhi.

The year 2016 started with the introduction of the Odd-Even Scheme by the Delhi Government as a measure to reduce high levels of air pollution in the Capital city. TERI was at the forefront of the analysis of this scheme, reviewing its impact on air pollution and road congestion.

TERI has been ranked in a number of relevant categories in the 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania; and we are proud of the prominence and recognition that our work has achieved.

At TERI, we stand committed to make a positive impact on society and as we strive forth towards our common resolve, we look forward to your sustained support.

Annapurna Vancheswaran,
Vice President, TERI North America

Introducing TERI's Chairman and Director-General

Mr Ashok Chawla joins as the Chairperson of the TERI Governing Council.

Mr Chawla has been a distinguished civil servant with over 40 years of experience in various sectors of the economy in India as well as in International Multilateral agencies. He has been a Permanent Secretary in key ministries of the Government of India including Finance, Economic Affairs, and Civil Aviation.

His earlier roles include Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited (IPCL) and Director, Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC). He has also served as Alternate Governor for India at the World Bank and at the Asian Development Bank. Mr Chawla was the Chairman of the Competition Commission of India from 2011-2016.

Dr Ajay Mathur joined TERI as the Institute's Director- General on February 8, 2016.

Dr Mathur is a member of the Indian Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change and prior to joining TERI he headed the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Government of India (BEE) as Director General. He has initiated and directed innovative programs, which have not only made a major difference in India, but have earned him the admiration of the global community.

Dr Mathur has been a key Indian climate-change negotiator, and was also the Indian spokesperson at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris.

TERI ranked prominently in 9 Categories in the 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. The TTCSP works with leading scholars and practitioners from think tanks and universities in a variety of collaborative efforts and programs, and produces the annual ‘Global Go To Think Tank Index’ that ranks the world’s leading think tanks in a variety of categories.

TERI has been ranked in the following categories:

Category Rank No. of Think Tanks ranked
Top Science and Technology Think Tanks 15 69
Top Energy and Resource Policy Think Tanks 6 55
Top Environment Policy Think Tanks 20 95
Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by a Think Tank 22 60
Top Think Tanks in China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea  


Best Transdisciplenary Research Think Tanks 70 80
Top Think Tanks Worldwide (Non-US) 90 137
Top Think Tanks Worldwide (U.S. and non-U.S.)  



In addition to the Categories mentioned above, TERI was also listed in the category of Best Independent Think Tanks. Institutions in this category were listed but not ranked. To view the comprehensive report published by the TTCSP click here.

TERI is featured prominently in most of the relevant categories of the report. As an organization, TERI works on multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial research, TERI is proud to be recognized as an institute that produces high quality knowledge; and mobilizes action for a sustainable future.

Evolving the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit to the World Sustainable Development Summit

Since 2001, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) hosted the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), with the sole aim to make 'sustainable development' a globally shared goal. Under its aegis, the Summit brought together Nobel laureates, political leaders, leading decision-makers from governments, bilaterals, and multilaterals, heads of corporates, high-level functionaries from the diplomatic corps, scientists, media persons, researchers and members of the civil society to focus attention on the challenge of sustainable development as it relates to current trends at the global, regional, and local levels.

The year 2016 marks the beginning of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by all countries around the world; and the new climate change Agreement reached at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, which sets out new commitments for climate action beyond 2020.

At this important juncture, TERI has evolved the DSDS to the World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF), a larger platform to cater to a global community with a brand new development agenda. The World Sustainable Development Forum was registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 on November 25, 2014. Under the WSDF, TERI will organise Summits in different global locations (Africa, India, Caribbean, USA) not only to understand and disseminate information on issues of sustainable development in particular regions but also to study, monitor, and report on achievements or the lack of them in this field. Editions of the WSDF will be important landmarks in defining strategies for the future; which need articulation and implementation by all stakeholders.

The first regional Summit to be hosted in 2016 as part of the WSDF series themed ‘Partnerships: The Core Issue for Sustainable Development and Climate Change’, is taking place from May 11-13, 2016 in Addis Ababa. Click here to contact the Summit Secretariat for more details.

The first edition of the WSDF event in India will be the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) and will take place from October 5-8, 2016 in New Delhi, India under the broad rubric of ‘Beyond 2015: People, Planet and Progress’.

The WSDS will take forth the DSDS legacy of 46 Heads of State and Government, ministers from over 60 countries, 1500 international and Indian business leaders, 13 Nobel laureates and over 10000 delegates from across continents. The WSDF will offer immense opportunities for various stakeholders to access and share information leading to action. . Please contact the WSDF Secretariat for more details.

TERI presents India's Corporate Vision on Climate Change at COP21

The Delhi to Paris: Corporate Vision on Climate Change document, subtitled ‘Reinforcing India’s Commitments’ was released at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, in December 2015. The initiative spearheaded by TERI’s Council for Business Sustainability (CBS), and guided by its Council members focused on four key areas:

  • Improving the Efficiency of Energy Use
  • Expanding the Use of Renewable Energy
  • Ensuring Water Availability in a Changing Climate
  • Efficient Waste Management

The historic agreement reached at COP21 obliges countries to promote environmental integrity; this presents a unique business opportunity for corporates to strengthen sustainable action in a number of operations including areas of green infrastructure; energy and supply chain management; research and development; and investment in clean technologies.

TERI CBS hosted three events at COP21 in Paris. Click here to read a summary of the deliberations at COP21.

TERI's take on New Delhi's Odd-Even Scheme

According to a World Health Organization survey of 1600 major cities, the air quality in Delhi, the capital city of India, is the worst. To examine ways to address the issue, the Delhi Government implemented the ‘Odd-Even Scheme’ from January 1, 2016 to January 15, 2016. During this period the plying of privately owned cars was restricted on alternate days based on the last digit (odd/even) of the registration number. The rationale behind this Scheme was that reduction in the number of vehicles on the roads would lead to reduced emissions and traffic congestion. It would also incentivize car-pooling amongst citizens and other demand rescuing arrangements, leading to a long-term solution to Delhi’s traffic and pollution challenges.

Click here to read TERI’s analysis of the Odd-Even Scheme.

Young Sustainability Leaders Fellowship

Instituted in the year 2015, the Young Sustainability Leaders Fellowship (YSLF) allows students studying in American universities, as well as mid-level executives working in the corporate sector to undertake a Fellowship for a period of 2-3 months in New Delhi India. Fellowship themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Green Buildings
  • Biofuels
  • Rural Energy
  • Sustainable Transport
  • Water Management

The Fellow is housed in TERI Delhi, and receives mentorship from a TERI expert for the period of the Fellowship. The aim of the YSLF is to shape the leaders of tomorrow and enable them to work towards a more sustainable future.
For more information on the YSLF, please visit:

Lighting a Billion Lives

Out of the 1.3 billion people in the world that do not have access to energy, 620 million reside in developing Asia. Furthermore, in India more than 300 million people, mostly in rural areas do not have access to energy, making it home to one in four people in the world who are off-grid, more than any other nation. In such a scenario, stand-alone solar-powered energy systems, such as local micro-grids, have the potential to provide energy access to Indian villages.

Recognizing the importance of independent solar energy systems and with the objective of enabling energy poor communities to transition from traditional energy sources such as kerosene oil to modern, efficient and more sustainable energy solutions, TERI launched its flagship initiative, Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) in the year 2008. LaBL offers diverse technology options based on affordability and end user requirements such as, solar lanterns, solar charging stations, micro grids, improved cook stoves, independent home lighting systems and integrated domestic energy systems that address both lighting and cooking energy needs in a single unified system.

Through an entrepreneurial model of energy service delivery, LaBL provides livelihood opportunities to villagers whilst replacing the use of environmentally unsustainable lighting and cooking alternatives with easily accessible clean, reliable and affordable technologies. This makes the stand-alone solar systems democratic and egalitarian, with power controlled by village communities.

The LaBL program, gives emphasis to villages with a low Human Development Index. For example, LaBL recently electrified a village named Rajanga, who’s 550 inhabitants are cut off, with no tarred road, no power grid, no water supply mains, no shops, no lodging houses or cafes, and only an intermittent and patchy mobile phone signal. The village is located close to a protected forest reserve, due to which villagers are banned from gathering firewood, bamboo, or other products from the forest around them. And because the village is located on an elephant migration route, the authorities don’t allow roads or power cables in the forest. However, since the LaBL intervention, households have access to electricity, children can study even after the sun sets, women have increased job opportunities, and health hazards from inhaling smoke emitted from kerosene oil have decreased.

To learn more stories of change, please visit:

To support LaBL, please visit: