Mother-daughter duo receives PhD together from Delhi University


18 Mar 2019

Delhi: In a first, mother, daughter receive PhD degrees together

Getting a PhD is a huge achievement and a memorable experience. However, for 56-year-old Mala Dutta, whose dream of receiving a PhD came true 34 years after college, it was even more memorable.

She received her PhD from Delhi University on Friday together with her daughter, 28-year-old Shreya Mishra, who also picked up her PhD the same day.

Here's more on the mother-daughter duo.

Delhi University

For the first-time, a mother-daughter duo completed PhD from DU

According to the Delhi University officials, it was for the first time that a mother-daughter duo completed their PhD from the university together though there have been similar cases at the postgraduate level.

Though Datta and Mishra missed their convocation last year as it was held only a day after Mishra's wedding, they picked up their PhD degrees together this year.


Datta, an Indian Economic Service officer with the Defense Ministry

According to Hindustan Times, Datta, an Indian Economic Service officer with the Defense Ministry, wanted to do PhD after completing Master's in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 1985.

"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 PhD (in finance)," Datta said.

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Her daughter

Datta's daughter is a consultant at the World Bank

Datta's daughter is a consultant at the World Bank

Two years later, her daughter Mishra, a Consultant at the World Bank, registered for her PhD in psychology.

"After I registered for the PhD we realized...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.


Motivation was to get a PhD with my daughter: Datta

Datta and Mishra submitted their theses and attended oral exams in 2018 a few months apart.

"It's an absolutely wonderful experience....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...with my daughter on the convocation day," Datta said.

Mother-daughter duo couldn't get their PhD degrees last year

However, the mother-daughter duo couldn't get their PhD degrees last year. "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.

Their dream

We finally realized our dream; collected our degrees together: Mishra

We finally realized our dream; collected our degrees together: Mishra

Finally, Datta and Mishra collected their PhD degrees from Delhi University on Friday.

"We finally realized our dream...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 Mishra.

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