Guwahati: Employees of The Energy and Resource Institute’s (TERI) Northeastern regional centre in Guwahati on Friday held a condolence meeting to pay tribute to the founder and director of TERI Northeast, Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, who passed away on Thursday.
Born on August 20, 1940, Pachauri who has been a leading voice on climate change and environmental issues across India breathed last at his official residence in New Delhi on Thursday evening. He was 79.
The TERI family across India including Northeast region were shocked and saddened by the news of Pachauri’s sudden demise and expressed their solidarity in this hour of grief. Members of TERI family from across the region gathered at the headquarters on Friday and paid their tribute to their founder and director.
Recalling his memories associated with Pachauri, TERI regional director Dipankar Saharia said that Pachauri’s demise is a great loss to the scientific communities working on climate change and sustainable development issues across the nation.
“Northeastern states of India were very close to his heart and he always felt that the region should take the lead in sustainable development issues. It was Pachauri’s vision to open the TERI Northeastern regional centre in Guwahati way back in 1994,” said Saharia.
Promising to carry forward the thought and vision of their leader, the entire TERI Northeast fraternity resolved to fight for climate change issues and work on sustainable development to a greater height. The members also observed a minute of silent prayer, praying for the achievement of eternal peace to the departed soul.
Born in the bewildering hill station of Nainital in Uttarakhand, Pachauri completed his graduation from La Martiniere College in Lucknow and Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur, Bihar.
Belonging to the 1958 Batch of Special Class Railway Apprentices, a prestigious programme which heralded the beginning of mechanical engineering education in India, Pachauri began his career with the Indian Railways at the Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi. Later, he joined the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, United States, from there he obtained an MS in Industrial Engineering in 1972, and a PhD with co-majors in Industrial Engineering and Economics in 1974. His doctoral thesis was on energy demand forecasting.
Pachauri joined TERI as its director in 1982. His efforts and dedication ensured that TERI grew from a small documentation centre to a multi-dimensional research institute with impeccable reputation over the world. Under his leadership, TERI undertook pioneering work in the field of climate change and sustainable development, with over 1200 employees.
Pachauri was the chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a post he held from April 2002 until February 2015, during which time the organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
He was also conferred with the second-highest civilian award for his services in the field of science and engineering, ‘Padma Vibhushan’ by the Indian government in January 2008 and former President of India Pranab Mukherjee handed him the civilian honour.
Among his international achievements, Pachauri was bestowed with the ‘Officier De La Légion D’Honneur’ by the government of France in 2006; the ‘Commander of the Order of Leopold II’ by the King of Belgians in July 2009; the ‘Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland’ by the Prime Minister of Finland in February 2010, ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’ by His Majesty Akihito, Emperor of Japan in April 2010 and Mexican Order of the ‘Aztec Eagle’ by the President of Mexico in June 2012.