Former TERI chief RK Pachauri dies, aged 79


Globally renowned environmentalist RK Pachauri died on Thursday after a prolonged cardiac ailment. He was 79. He was the founder of TERI and head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change when it won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

According to his family, Pachauri had undergone a major heart surgery before succumbing to his deteriorating health on Thursday. He died at his residence with his wife, daughter and son on his side.

“His courageous leadership allowed climate change to be recognized world over as the most pressing issue confronting the world and launched a new era of international deliberations and actions,” news agency PTI quoted a statement from his family.

TERI posted a series of tweets to express its condolence on Pachauri’s death. It said, “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing away of Dr RK Pachauri, the Founder Director of TERI. The entire TERI family stands with the family of Dr Pachauri in this hour of grief.”

TERI chairman Nitin Desai said, “Dr Pachauri’s contribution to global sustainable development is unparalleled. His leadership of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) laid the ground for climate change conversations today.”

In 2015, a woman had accused him of sexually assaulting her. The FIR in the case was registered on alleged charges of sexual harassment under the IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation). This had led to his removal as the TERI chief the same year. Police had also questioned Pachauri last month based on evidence provided by the woman, who had accused him of sending repeated inappropriate emails, WhatsApp and text messages. Pachauri, however, denied the allegations saying his emails and mobile phone were hacked.

Pachauri was born on 20 August, 1940 in Nainital, Uttarakhand, and studied at La Martiniere College in Lucknow and at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur, Bihar.