With a group of TERI University students refusing to accept their degrees from RK Pachauri, the environmentalist has decided to go on leave and skip the varsity’s convocation scheduled on March 7.
TERI University’s acting vice chancellor (V-C) Rajiv Seth told The Indian Express that Pachauri, who is the Chancellor of the institution, communicated his decision on Thursday morning and Leena Srivastav will act as his stand-in during the convocation ceremony. Srivastav is university V-C who has been on sabbatical for the last few months and Seth is holding fort till she rejoins.
The decision, Seth added, will be communicated to the students once the Board of Management (BOM) is intimated. The institution’s BOM is meeting on Friday.
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This development has come in wake of 19 students writing to Seth on Wednesday condemning TERI Governing Council’s decision to elevate Pachauri to the position of Executive Vice Chairman even though he stands accused of sexually harassing a junior colleague. Pachauri is currently out on bail.
“We would like to make it clear that we are not in a position to accept our degrees from Pachauri at convocation,” the 20 former students from MSc, MTech, MA and MBA courses wrote in a letter addressed to Seth with copies sent to the university’s BOM and academic council. “We reiterate the trajectory that the university is taking is dangerous and grossly inconsiderate, and as alumni, we sincerely hope that Teri University’s board of management seriously re-evaluates Pachauri’s continuing role as chancellor…,” the letter states.