Ex-TERI chief R K Pachauri dies at 79

In 2015, Pachauri was accused of allegedly sexually harassing a woman colleague after which he quit the post. (Express Archive)

Former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) R K Pachauri passed away after prolonged illness, the institute director confirmed on Thursday. Pachauri recently underwent a major cardiac surgery.

"It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing away of R K Pachauri, the founder Director of TERI. 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. Mathur succeeded Pachauri in 2015.

Pachauri was admitted to Escorts Heart Institute in Delhi where he underwent open heart surgery and was put on life support on Tuesday, PTI quoted sources as saying.

Stating Pachauri's "untiring perseverance", Mathur said the former TERI chief played the role in making us a leading organisation in the sustainability space. “TERI is what it is today because of Dr Pachauri’s untiring perseverance," he said.

Before his health deteriorated, Pachauri was directing efforts towards two organizations which he recently founded Protect Our Planet Movement and the World Sustainable Development Forum, the statement read. Preparations were full swing for the Second Edition of the World Sustainable Development Forum which is scheduled to be held in Durango, Mexico in March 2020.

In 2015, Pachauri was accused of allegedly sexually harassing a woman colleague after which he quit the post. He also served as the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).