The only law student to win the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for post graduate studies at Oxford University this year was Hatim Hussain , a student of the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Gandhinagar. He is the second student from GNLU to have be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, the first being Sameer Rashid Bhat in 2017 .

A final year student, Hatim Hussain is presently interning with Justice DY Chandrachud at the Supreme Court of India. In this interview with Bar & Bench, Hussain speaks about the reason why he chose to pursue the Rhodes Scholarship, his experience during the selection process, and his future plans once he gets to Oxford.

What inspired you to apply for the scholarship?

I believe there are not many things that have remained as (and equally) desirable as the Rhodes Scholarship for the past 117 years, particularly due to the profound impact it continues to have in providing a platform to shape the lives of one’s own self and those of others.

To that extent, Rhodes was an enabler for me, especially coming from a background where the initial 17 years of my life were spent at one of India’s largest Muslim minority ghettos. I always had an inclination towards teaching and research, but I could have never pursued postgraduation without a scholarship.

Besides, Rhodes is an incredible opportunity to ‘recycle’ privilege and work towards providing similar opportunities, especially to many in India, who despite having the requisite potential, may not be able to make a difference.

That said, I never imagined myself to be a Rhodes Scholar! It was only a few months before the scholarship deadline that a Professor at my University motivated me to apply, and I decided to take the shot.

What was the selection process like?

The selection process comprises of three rigorous stages, the first one being the application stage, where the applicant is required to submit a CV, a personal statement and six references, which can either be academic or professional/personal. Based on the applications received, the selection committee shortlisted 15 candidates from law, and similarly those from […]

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