Continuing to head The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) despite being accused of sexual harassment by a colleague who later resigned, R K Pachauri was promoted Monday as its vice-chairman, a post especially created for him to ensure he retains executive control over the organisation.
Pachauri, who has headed TERI for almost three and half decades, vacated the position of director general to finally let Ajay Mathur take charge — the governing council had named Mathur as Pachauri’s successor in July last year.
As vice-chairman, Pachauri will continue to have executive powers, an internal email circulated to TERI employees said. “This is to inform that Dr Ajay Mathur has joined as director general of TERI from today. The Governing Council of TERI has appointed Dr R K Pachauri as the Executive Vice Chairman with immediate effect,” the mail stated.
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Pachauri was accused by a junior colleague of sexual harassment last year. He had gone on leave following the complaint but returned after a few months. His continuance at the top made the complainant resign. In the meanwhile, the governing council named Mathur, then the director general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency, as his successor without saying anything about the future role of Pachauri in the organisation.
The governing council of TERI is chaired by scientist B V Sreekantan, and has Deepak Parekh, Naina Lal Kidwai and Hemendra Kothari among its members.
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Pachauri, who had to step down as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) because of the allegations, is learnt to have asked the governing council to make him vice-chairman with executive powers over administration, finance and human resource.
It was not immediately clear what would be the division of powers between Pachauri and Mathur in the new set-up.