Kashmiri lawyer awarded 2 prestigious scholarships for study at Oxford

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 1/9/2021 12:00:31 AM

JAMMU, Jan 7: Mirza Saaib Beg, a Kashmiri lawyer, has become the first Kashmiri to be awarded the Kofi Annan scholarship at Mansfield College, University of Oxford and the Oxford- Weidenfeld- Hoffmann scholarship to study public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government.
Mirza Saaib is a graduate of India’s premier law university, NALSAR University of law, where he was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s gold medal as the ‘Best Male Graduate with Leadership Qualities’.
The prestigious scholarships valued at over Rs 75 lakhs cover all costs of education at the University of Oxford including living expenses and a monthly stipend. The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships and Leadership Programme aims to cultivate the leaders of tomorrow by providing outstanding university graduates with the opportunity to pursue fully-funded studies at the University of Oxford, combined with a comprehensive programme of leadership development, long-term mentoring and networking.
He is part of the first ever cohort of Kofi Annan scholars at Mansfield College, Oxford University.
Upon graduation, Mirza worked as a lawyer for the capital and stock markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board, providing opinions on legal policy, regulation and litigation.
Mirza says that after the amendment of Article 370, he spoke extensively against the actions of the Indian government in Kashmir and delivered lectures/seminars in universities at Oxford, Cambridge, SOAS and Westminster. “As a result, I faced disciplinary proceedings for my vocal criticism of the Indian government’s actions in Kashmir. I decided to submit my resignation in protest instead of submitting to the censorship of lawful dissent against a gross violation of rights,” he added.
In addition to being an experienced lawyer, Mirza has also been an avid cyclist. He has won many races and ultra-cycling events including the 500km Desert500 race and the 250km Thar race. His ultra-cycling campaigns and fundraising have secured the education of hundreds of financially restrained meritorious students in Kashmir and law universities in India by raising lakhs of rupees to set up scholarships in Kashmir and in law universities across India. He has been a cycling ambassador for the Rotary Club of Bombay–Worli and Aditya Birla group’s Mpower for mental health awareness.
As a law student Mirza Saaib was the only Kashmiri to have been elected as president of the student’s union at NALSAR University of Law. He was awarded the Bar Council of India scholarship as winner and finals best speaker at India’s oldest moot court competition, the Bar Council of India Moot. Nalsar university’s Vice Chancellor and senior constitutional law teacher Professor Faizan Mustafa said in a lecture to the students that he is proud that in Mirza Saaib Beg, Nalsar has produced at least one socially relevant lawyer.
He studied in Kashmir at Iqbal Memorial Institute, Bemina, where he is fondly remembered by his teachers as a very bright and outspoken student.



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