Dr R K Pachauri, Addressing the Audience at the Inaugural session, DSDS 2014. (Photo: Teri Flickr Account)
Amid outrage over his appointment as Teri’s executive vice-chairman, R K Pachauri has proceeded on leave on Thursday and will skip Teri University’s convocation on March 7 after a group of students refused to receive degrees from him. Facing the heat due to multiple sexual harassment charges, Pachauri, the chancellor of the university, was recently elevated to the newly created post, a move which triggered severe criticism from environment and women activists across the country.
On Thursday, it was revealed that as executive vice-chairman, Pachauri got Teri governing council’s nod to focus on new national and international campuses. However, amid protests on Thursday, Teri governing council decided to hold an emergency meeting on Friday in Delhi to study the fresh allegations of sexual harassment against Pachauri.
Two well-placed sources said the governing council was reconsidering Pachauri’s continuation. This, however, could not be independently verified by Business Standard.
Pachauri, who has been accused of sexual harassment at workplace by two ex-employees, had been tasked by Teri’s governing council to focus on expansion of the organisation’s campuses within and outside the country in his new role.
Though the NGO’s governing council, which includes industry stalwarts like Deepak Parekh and Naina Lal Kidwai, will meet in Delhi on Friday to review Pachauri’s appointment as executive vice-chairman and study the fresh allegations against him.
Pachauri’s replacement for the post of director general, Ajay Mathur, held a meeting with senior Teri employees on Thursday. Multiple sources who attended this meeting said no formal communication had been sent within Teri to employees about the division of power between the two executive top heads of the NGO.
This issue was raised at the meeting with the new director general. Sources said some senior employees had been orally informed that Pachauri had been asked by the governing council to look after setting up new offices and other external activities.
While queries sent to Pachauri remained unanswered, a Teri spokesperson said, “the allegations made against Dr Pachauri are being carefully investigated by the police. He is on leave from Teri University and will not participate in the University’s Convocation.” Teri also confirmed Pachauri’s new role as executive vice chairman. “As the Executive Vice Chairman of the Governing Council of Teri, Dr Pachauri will focus on special development projects and in expansion of national and international campuses.” Mathur remained unavailable for a reaction.