The energy And Resources Institute (TERI) began in 1974 as the Tata Energy Research Institute. Motivated by concerns about finite, nonrenewable energy resources and pollution, Darbari Seth, a chemical engineer working for Tata Chemicals, proposed a research institute dedicated to the collection and dissemination of information regarding energy production and utilization. R.J.D. Tata, then chairman of the Tata Group, actively supported the institute, and TERI was formally established in Delhi in 1974. By 1982, TERI had expanded to include research activities in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainable development. As the scope of activities continued to widen, TERI maintained its acronym, although it was renamed the Energy and Resources Institute in 2003. Now, TERI's staff of over 700 conducts research and provides professional support to governments, institutions, and corporations worldwide. TERI's global leadership in efforts to mitigate the threat of climate change has been further endorsed by the election of its director-general, Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in April 2002.
Although spawned by the Tata Group, the largest conglomerate in India accounting for 96 companies operating in over 40 countries and exporting to 140 countries, TERI operates as a not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization. TERI's work is sponsored by over 900 organizations (Tata Group included), and more than 200 organizations from 43 countries serve as partners in TERI projects.
The Energy and Resources Institute currently operates through divisions that include energy-environment technology, environmental and industrial biotechnology, biotechnology and management of bioresources, regulatory studies and governance, resources and global security, action programs, information technology and services, sustainable development outreach, and policy analysis. Examples of TERI-led research projects vary widely and include microbial bioremediation of oil spills and oil sludge deposits; design and dissemination of biomass gasifiers; wasteland reclamation and biodiesel production through Jatropha Curcas, a nonedible, oil-bearing crop; e-waste recycling; green buildings; and ecovillages.
The Asian Development Bank declared TERI a clean energy knowledge hub in 2006. As evidence of its dedication to clean energy, TERI established the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment, the first of its kind in India. Other work in this area includes research and training initiatives to advance large-scale use of renewable and clean energy, energy efficiency, and response to climate change in Asia and the Pacific region. Although large-scale projects with international cooperation remain key to many of TERI's goals, TERI also promotes empowering disadvantaged populations and generating employment through small-scale entrepreneurial endeavors.
The institute established the TERI University in 1998. It became a deemed university in India in 1999. The TERI University offers degree programs only at the master's and Ph.D. levels, and faculty and students participate in research conducted by the institute.
TERI continues to collect, generate, and make available a wide range of publications on issues related to its areas of research and training. Given its long and successful history of publication, the institute established TERI Press.
During its relatively brief existence, TERI has expanded to include research, training, and support efforts throughout India, and it claims to be the only institution in a developing country to have established a significant presence in North America, Europe, the larger Asian continent, Japan, Malaysia, and the Middle East.
sEE ALso: Biomass; Climate Change, Effects; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Japan; Malaysia; Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs).
BIBLIoGRAPHY. P. K. Bhattacharya and S. Ganguly, "The TERI ENVIS Centre: An Indian Information Centre on Renewable Energy and the Environment," Information Development (v.22/3, 2006); The Energy and Resources Institute, www.teriin.org.
Jennifer Ellen Coffman James Madison University
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