RK Pachauri, former TERI chief, passes away at 79

R K Pachauri, a former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute, died on Thursday after battling a prolonged cardiac ailment, TERI Director General Ajay Mathur said. Pachauri had multiple cardiac issues and doctors at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute said he had been put on life support three days ago.

Pachauri passed away at his residence in the national capital with wife, daughter and son by his side.

The environmentalist had suffered a heart stroke in Mexico in July previous year, said a source close to him, adding that he was critical and put on ventilator.

A source quoted in the report stated that Pachauri had an open-heart surgery but was put on the ventilator.

"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 global deliberations and actions", said his family.

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.

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The The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) expressed grief over the passing away of its founding director. "Sad to know about the passing on of Nobel laureate R.K. Pachauri, founder chairman of TERI".

Mathur, who became the head of TERI after Pachauri in 2015, said, "Where Terry is today is due to the untiring efforts of Doctor Pachauri".

However, the world-renowned environmentalist's remarkable career was overshadowed by a sexual harassment scandal involving a former woman colleague at TERI.

"Dr Pachauri's contribution to global sustainable development is unparalleled". In October 2018, a Delhi court had framed molestation charges against Pachauri, who had denied the charges. An alumnus of the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur, Bihar, Pachauri served in various positions in the Indian Railways, including at the Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi.

After the case came to light, two more women levelled similar allegations against him. The court had given him anticipatory bail in 2015.

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