21-year old Naga lad amongst five Indians selected for Rhodes Scholarship 2022

By FrontierManipur | Published On 19th Nov, 2021, 09:12 GMT+0530

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Akumjung Pongen

Akumjung Pongen, 21 years old final-year Philosophy student from the prestigious St Stephen College, Delhi is a also music enthusiast who croons, fiddles perfectly with the strings of classical guitars and the keys of the piano.

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

Akumjung I Pongen, a resident of Kohima is among the five young Indians who have secured 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 introduced in 1903 is one of the oldest international postgraduate programmes acknowledged all over the world.

Akumjung, 21 years old final-year Philosophy student from the prestigious St Stephen College, Delhi, son of T Meren Pongen and Dr Elizabeth Walling of Dibuia village, Mokokchung, is reportedly the first from Nagaland to be selected for the scholarship.

A music enthusiast who croons, fiddles perfectly with the strings of classical guitars and keys of the piano, this young lad’s interests besides being committed to learning philosophy, include 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 school days in G Rio School, Kohima, passing out the senior secondary school in the year 2019, which he termed was a quite “unique experience” helping him to reach the level he is today.

He also disclosed that the process in the preparations for the scholarships went for more than three months with the support from his parents, teachers, and friends whom he termed them the “inspiration” for the opportunity.

v “What motivated me was realizing that one could not fail unless one tries”, Akumjung further added.

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