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Reverse R. K. Pachauri's appointment decision

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This statement is in wake of the recent appointment of Dr. R.K. Pachauri as the Executive Vice-Chairman of TERI on Monday. A group of TERI University Alumni, through this statement, would like to register their protest against this move.

 This news comes after a spate of recent happenings that started in mid-Feb 2015 with a young woman lodging an FIR against Dr. R. K. Pachauri in mid-Feb 2015 on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation). Despite these charges he continued to be the Director General of TERI for a certain period of time, allegedly exercising influence on TERI officials to settle the matter out of court and finally the woman was forced to quit TERI. The case is currently under judicial consideration.

The intent of this statement is not to term any person(s) involved as “accused” or “ victim” and disrespecting the powers of the Court. However, appointment (and promotion!) of any “accused” person to one of the senior most positions of the same organization where the alleged crime occurred is morally  wrong, counterproductive and a mockery of the judiciary. Therefore, any appointment of Dr. R. K. Pachauri in TERI should be deferred till the verdict has been delivered by the court.

This latest appointment of Dr. Pachauri as a Vice Chairman with Executive powers of TERI, essentially a “superboss”, as reported by the media, comes across as a slap on the faces of all those women (and men) who have ever tried to stand up against gender discrimination or sexual harassment at workplace. This also sends out an extremely wrong message to all TERI employees and TERI University students in the form of direct intimidation and by essentially suppressing their voices forever. It is doubtful that any TERI employee (current or future) would ever report any injustice, misconduct, malpractice, discrimination, suppression in the organization in the fear that the alleged accused will be back in a more powerful position. Any act that jeopardises the voice of youth against wrongdoings and injustice for the sake of power is highly condemnable and unacceptable in today’s time. It is beyond comprehension that why the TERI Governing Council, made up of leading names in different fields, fail to see that Dr. Pachauri’s appointment could potentially hand him on a platter, all powers as well as access to continue to intimidate witnesses of the case, legitimately.

We are a group of TERI University alumni who have always felt proud of having been associated with an institution that claims to provide an environment encouraging both personal and intellectual growth. Unfortunately, this extremely insensitive and discriminatory move has made us question the integrity and reliability of TERI as an institution as well as the morality of all those members in the governing council.  

TERI is an internationally renowned organization which works towards making this world a better place to live for all of us. This step by the TERI Governing Council has pushed back TERI’s contribution to this world by eons. This blatant display of power politics makes us feel ashamed to refer to the institution as our alma mater.

We take this opportunity to condemn this act of TERI Governing Council in all our capacity and we believe that the media and public will raise their voice against such injustice and institutional dogmatism. Simultaneously, we would like to appeal to the TERI Governing Council to reconsider their decision immediately and reinstate the trust of all its employees, student and alumni in the institution once again.

 

A few concerned ex-TERI employees and members of TERI University Alumni network



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