Facing flak, TERI’s executive vice chairman R K Pachauri today proceeded on leave from two other bodies — TERI and its governing council, which also appointed former Competition Commission chief Ashok Chawla as the new chairman in an apparent damage control measure.
In its meeting, the council decided that Pachauri will be on leave from TERI, its governing council and the university till further review by it, given the subjudice nature of the matter.
“The Council welcomed former Competition Commission chief Ashok Chawla as its new Chairman. The Council looks forward to his leadership of this important institute.
“The Council also inducted the new Director General, Ajay Mathur as a Member of the Council who will operate with full executive powers,” TERI said in a statement after its governing council met.
The council met to discuss “key issues” relating to the functioning of the organisation.
When asked whether Pachauri was forced to go on leave or he took the decision voluntarily, TERI declined to comment on it only saying, “Our version has been made clear in our statement. There is no connotation to it.”
Chawla, who was also the former finance secretary, was appointed the new chairman after B V Sreekantan resigned recently after being a Member of the Council for over 40 years.
TERI had yesterday said that Pachauri’s role is to ensure a “smooth transition” for Mathur.
Amid outrage over his appointment as TERI’s Executive Vice Chairman, Pachauri has proceeded on leave yesterday from TERI University and communicated that he will skip the
institution’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 the alumni and women activists across the country.
“R K Pachauri, who had been at the head of the institute since 1982 will be on leave from TERI, TERI Governing Council, and TERI University till this is reviewed by the Governing Council given the subjudice nature of the matter,” TERI said in the statement.
Despite battling allegations of multiple sexual harassment, Pachauri was recently elevated to the newly created post of Executive Vice Chairman, a move which triggered severe critisism from the alumuni and women activists across the country.
Following the protests, Pachauri, the Chancellor of the varsity, had yesterday proceeded on leave and said he will not be attending the convocation scheduled to be held on March 7 this year.
The university reiterated that Pachauri is on leave and will not be presiding over the convocation ceremony.
Some alumni of 2013-2015 batch, had yesterday written to Seth saying the recent “inaction” of the board of management at TERI University with respect to Pachauri “deeply saddened” them.
They said that it is only the “basic and essential” good practice that he (Pachauri) may immediately recuse himself from the post of chancellor and cease involvement in TERI
University matters pending completion of legal proceedings.
Asked who would be holding the position of Chancellor during Pachauri’s absence, Seth had said it is yet to be decided and since the VC is involved in the day to day affairs of any university, Pachauri’s going on leave will not affect the institution’s functioning in anyway.