By Imna Longchar
Dimapur, (Nagaland), Nov 18: Akumjung I Pongen, a resident of Kohima is among the five Indians to secure a seat at the prestigious University of Oxford, England, to pursue his academic career (postgraduate degree) through the “Rhodes Scholarship 2022”.
The “Rhodes Scholarship” which was incepted in 1903 is one of the oldest international post graduate programme acknowledged all over the world.
21 -year old Akumjung is the final year Philosophy student from St. Stephen College, Delhi and son of T. Meren Pongen and Dr. Elizabeth Walling of Dibuia village, Mokokchung, is the first from the Northeast and Nagaland to be selected for the scholarship.
An enthusiast of music, who croons, fiddles perfectly with the strings of classical guitars and keys of the piano, this young lad’s interests besides being committed in making philosophy more accessible to society, has the distinction of translating “key texts” into his mother tongue.
The five select Indian Rhodes Scholars or cohorts apart from Akumjung included two medics from Bhopal and Hyderabad, a Zoology student from New Delhi and a law student from Kolkata.
They are Dr. Varad Puntambekar (Maharashtra), Dr. Aishwarya Vedula (Hyderabad), Ritika Mukherji (Delhi), and Adrija Ghosh (West Bengal).
It may be mentioned that the five Rhodes scholars-elect for 2022 were selected over the weekend, marking the culmination of a rigorous national selection process.
For the second year running, the entire selection process was conducted virtually.
Meanwhile, talking to this correspondent, Akumjung Pongen, shared that the journey started since his
schooling days in G. Rio School, Kohima, passing out the senior secondary school in the year 2019,which he termed was quite “unique experience” helping him to reach the level as he is today.
He also disclosed that the process in the preparations for the scholarships went for more than three months with support from his parents, teachers, and friends whom he termed them the “inspiration” for the opportunity.
“What motivated me was realizing that one could not fail unless one tries”, Akumjung further added.
His journey for the prestigious University of Oxford, England, begins from September 2022.