In a first, mother and daughter receive PhD degrees together on the same day. Mala Datta relished her dream of receiving a PhD degree 34 years after her college days came to a close. What made it worth remembering was that her 28-year-old daughter, Shreya Mishra, also got her PhD degree the same day itself.
Mala Datta is an Indian Economic Service officer plying her trade with Defence Ministry. She said that she always wanted to do a PhD after finishing her Master’s in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 1985, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“I had to take a break from work in 2012 when my younger daughter had her class 12 board exams. That was the time when I registered for a PhD (in finance). I then took study leave from the ministry and worked seriously on my completing the PhD,” Datta said.
Officials at the Delhi University said that this was the first time they had seen a mother-daughter pair finishing their PhD together.
Shreya is a consultant at the World Bank who did her own PhD in Psychology two years post her graduation.
“After I registered for the PhD we realised that we can complete it together and make it the most remarkable moment for us. Though our subjects were totally different, I started seeking guidance from my mother and worked harder to complete it within three years,” Mishra said as per Hindustan Times.
The mother and daughter submitted their thesis and appeared for their oral exams last year. “It’s an absolutely wonderful experience for me because I got to learn a lot studying with the co-students of my daughter’s age. There were instances when my professor would call me ma’am. But I enjoyed it. The motivation was to get a PhD degree with my daughter on the convocation day,” Dutta said.
“The convocation was on November 19, a day after I was getting married. There was no chance of us attending and receiving our degrees together. It was disappointing for us both,” said Mishra.
In a fantastic moment to remember, both mother and daughter went to the university on March 15 to collect their degrees. “We finally realised our dream and collected our degrees together.
Officials there said that we would have made news headlines if we had received the degrees on the day of the convocation. But it doesn’t matter because now my paternal grandparents and my husband are here to share this unique feat,” said the daughter.