Former TERI chief RK Pachauri dies, aged 79

  • Former TERI chief RK Pachauri dies, aged 79

Former TERI chief RK Pachauri dies, aged 79

He had undergone open heart surgery at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute after suffering a stroke in Mexico in July a year ago.

RK Pachauri, an environmentalist and an economist, headed the UN's Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

During his tenure, the IPCC and former U.S. vice-president Al Gore were jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their work on pressing countries to take action over global warming.

Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the IPCC vice-chairman from 2002 to 2015, said coming from a developing country Pachauri should be credited for drawing the attention, long before others, to the importance of finding synergies between climate policies and sustainable developing agenda.

However, the world-renowned environmentalist's remarkable career was overshadowed by a sexual harassment scandal involving a former woman colleague at TERI. Pachauri had multiple cardiac issues and doctors at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute said he had been put on life support three days ago.

According to his family, Pachauri had undergone a major heart surgery before succumbing to his deteriorating health on Thursday.

Pachauri became the chief executive of TERI in 1982, and served as the director-general from April 2001. 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). "The entire TERI family stands with the family of Dr Pachauri in this hour of grief", Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, said in a statement.

A Padma Bhushan victor, Pachauri conceptualised and launched the "Lighting a Billion Lives" initiative in 2008, to facilitate clean energy access for all. "TERI is what it is today because of Dr Pachauri's untiring perseverance", he said.

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.

Pachauri had denied the charges and his attorneys claimed that his messages were hacked in an attempt to malign him.