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Akshaya Patra reconstitutes Board of Trustees

Amidst allegations of “serious governance issues”, the Bengaluru-based Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF), which runs the mid-day meals programme for schoolchildren, has reconstituted its Board of Trustees with new non-executive members.

The Board of Trustees was reconstituted recently after former Infosys Director Mohandas Pai and Raj Kondur, another trustee, decided to part ways with APF, over certain internal issues. Another non-executive trustee, Abhay Jain, had informed the foundation of his willingness to leave over personal issues, sources said.

Former chairman of Central Vigilance Commission and former chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes K.V. Chowdary has joined the board as a non-executive member. The other non-executive members are former Secretary to Human Resource Department Anil Swarup and former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Thermax M.S. Unnikrishnan.

The APF has also set up a new audit committee that will now include Mr. Chowdary and Kaushik Datta, former partner, PwC. A release said that another prominent person will be added to the audit committee.

“There are serious governance issues with the running of Akshaya Patra Foundation. Some of us brought them to the attention of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, but they did not pay any attention. There are also internal forces trying to stifle our voices so that nothing is heard outside. In this context, I thought it was better to disassociate with such an organisation,” Mr. Pai told The Hindu on the reasons for his decision.

APF sources said that the board had been reconstituted since it was also felt that there was a need for more innovation and brighter ideas to take the foundation forward.

Meanwhile, Chairman of APF Madhu Pandit Dasa, in a release, said, “The outgoing trustees – Mohandas Pai, Abhay Jain, V. Balakrishnan and Raj Kondur – have rendered extraordinary service from the days of inception in 2000. We are immensely grateful to them for their dedication and invaluable guidance. We welcome new trustees and members of the audit committee.”


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