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Law students win 40% of Rhodes scholarships


Two students from NLSIU Bangalore and NALSAR Hyderabad have won the prestigious Rhodes scholarship for 2010 that will enable them to pursue a law course of their choice at the University of Oxford.

V Niranjan of NLSIU and Aditya Swarup of NALSAR have repeated history by bagging two Rhodes scholarships for higher education out of the total five available after undergoing a grueling round of final interviews held in Mumbai yesterday.

Niranjan said: "The Rhodes Scholarship is more than just a scholarship - it is an institution that is filled with world leaders spanning generations, and to be awarded the scholarship is both humbling and a reminder that there is so much to accomplish in one's field, which in my case is law."

Swarup commented: "Winning the Rhodes Scholarship is undoubtedly a proud and happy moment for me but more important is the fact that has given me an opportunity to reflect on the work done by me till date. The prerequisite of a Rhode scholar is academic excellence along with a leaning towards public duty, for me it has reaffirmed my conviction of pursuing Human Rights and Social Movements litigation."

Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship in India Prof. V S Chauhan manages the trust, which acts as a facilitator for student aspirants and conducts the entire selection process.

Chauhan told Legally India: "This year we had an exceptionally competitive batch of applicants, all 18 finalists were qualitatively outstanding. The only disappointment is that we could not award the scholarship to more than five candidates, which is the requisite number."

Chauhan added that the trust received 300 to 400 applications each year and the finalist candidates chosen are the ones possessing qualities of intellect, character and leadership.

The president of the NLSIU Student Bar Assocation (SBA) Madhav V Kanoria, and NALSAR SBA president Aditya Wadhwa both congratulated their peers.

Wadhwa said: "A great amount of institutional, intellectual and academic support was provided to them by the training imparted at the campus, which further enhanced their potential to finally win the scholarships." 

Last year's Indian Rhodes law scholars were Sushila Rao from NLSIU and Dhvani Mayur Mehta from Government Law College, Mumbai.

The final Selection Committee this year was under the chairmanship of Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata and included Congress leader and parliamentarian Rahul Gandhi.

The other 2010 Rhodes scholars are: Baskar Bhusan who is currently doing an MSc in Chemistry from IIT Kanpur and will study a Phd in Chemistry at Oxford; Tanya Bhattaracharya who is currently in her final year of a BA in History from University of Delhi St Stephens College and will pursue a second BA in History; and George K John who is a doctor at St. John's Medical College Bangalore and who will do an MSc in Global Health at Oxford.

The Rhodes Scholarships is an international award which entitles the recipients to a free university and college education at Oxford and a monthly stipend to cover living costs.

The scholarship was founded in pursuance of the will of the late British colonial pioneer and statesman Cecil J Rhodes. 

To read more about the harrowing process of becoming a Rhodes scholar, read our blog post on the subject.

Photo by: wit
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