A student from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, has now received the Ratanshaw Bomanji Zaiwalla Scholarship from the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, at Somerville College.
Since 2017, Zaiwalla & Co has maintained an annual scholarship for one Indian law student to come to the UK to study a one-year Masters in International Law at Somerville College at the University of Oxford. The objective of this scholarship is to give these students an opportunity to forge international connections, advance their own professional careers and contribute to an advancing global legal framework.
This news was published in Eastern Eye, 21 June 2023, and can be found here and below.
A Dalit student from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, has launched a crowdfunding initiative to support his MPhil programme in Law at Oxford University.
In November 2022, Bhimraj M, a former doctoral student at the South Asian University (SAU) in New Delhi, faced disciplinary action for participating in student protests advocating for increased stipends and scholarships.
Initially rusticated for a year, he was later expelled after questioning the university’s treatment of a hospitalised student protesting against the SAU administration, The News Minute site reported.
Bhimraj has now received the Ratanshaw Bomanji Zaiwalla Scholarship from the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, at Somerville College.
The scholarship is a partial one which covers most of the tuition fees. However, he aims to raise funds for other expenses such as living expenses, visa costs, immigration, health surcharge, and airfare through the crowdfunding campaign.
In December 2022, Bhimraj filed a complaint with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) regarding the institutional harassment he experienced at SAU.
The NCSC has not taken any action on the matter so far.
Additionally, he filed a case in the Delhi High Court challenging the arbitrary proctorial orders, with the next hearing scheduled for August 2.
Bhimraj completed his Bachelor’s in law from the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University in 2017 and pursued a Master’s in international law at SAU.
During his Master’s studies, he cleared the UGC’s Junior Research Fellowship Examination in 2018 and worked as a guest faculty at the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University, teaching public international law and international trade law.
In 2020, he joined the doctoral programme at SAU and was selected for the Indian Equality Law Visiting Fellowship Programme, jointly organised by the University of Oxford and Melbourne Law School.
His research focuses on the intersection of law and Dalit rights.
Bhimraj’s Master’s dissertation examined the adequacy of international human rights mechanisms in addressing caste-based discrimination, while his doctoral research explored environmental discrimination faced by Dalits in India.
For his MPhil at Oxford, Bhimraj intends to analyse Indian legal mechanisms related to challenging discriminatory waste facility siting.
While the Ratanshaw Bomanji Zaiwalla Scholarship will cover most of the tuition fee (£26,450), Bhimraj aims to raise approximately £19,518 (Rs 20,08,792/-) to cover living and other expenses, with a goal to reach the target amount by July 10.