SOAS University of London

SOAS Doctoral students, Rakesh Sengupta and Vidya Venkat, awarded Fred Lightfoot Scholarship 2020-21.

11 September 2020

Rakesh Sengupta and Vidya Venkat, both Doctoral student at SOAS have been awarded Fred Lightfoot Scholarship. The prize is awarded by Effie Lightfoot and SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI) to two third-year doctoral students at SOAS engaged in the study of India.

The award of £5000 each will support the doctoral study, including: maintenance, fees, travel, research and conference cost during the coming academic year (2020-21).

Rakesh Sengupta


“The Fred Lightfoot Scholarship will help me complete my doctoral work and fulfill other research commitments during a difficult time. I'm extremely grateful to the donor for their generosity and support” said Rakesh Sengupta who is currently pursuing PhD from the Department of South Asian Language, Culture and Linguistics, SOAS University of London. Sengupta’s research is on ‘An Archaeology of Screenwriting: Rethinking Archives and Accessibility of Indian Cinema (1930s-50s)



Vidya Venkat

Vidya Venkat, who is currently pursuing Phd from Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS University of London said, "The Fred Lightfoot scholarship has come at an opportune time when the COVID-19 lockdown conditions had affected doctoral students conducting fieldwork in India. The additional funds would not only be beneficial for me to carry out my remaining fieldwork, but also help fund conference costs, etc. which are often not covered by university funding. I am grateful to have received this scholarship that commemorates a legendary connoisseur of the arts and an Indophile." Venkat’s research is on the socio-political impact of the Right to Information law passed in India in 2005 with the tentative title as ‘India’s Democratic Revolution: Right to Information and the Anti-Corruption Discourse’.