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Post-graduate at 72

After the instance of a 100 year old man applying for a PhD at Gauhati University, a woman at 72 has earned her post-graduate degree at the same institute.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2011 01:11 IST

After the instance of a 100 year old man applying for a PhD at Gauhati University, a woman at 72 has earned her post-graduate degree at the same institute.

A resident of western Assam’s Nalbari town, 71 km from here, Sarojini Bhagabati scored 46% in political science. She stood 60th among 305 students who appeared for their MA examinations under the university’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL).

Bhagawati said she expected to score more than 50% but was happy that competition with her 14 year old grandson Antarip paid dividends. “We studied together for seven-eight hours, trying to outdo each other in the ability to concentrate and be ready for our respective exams,” she told reporters at Nalbari.

University insiders have hailed Bhagabati as the oldest person to complete post-graduation from the 53 year old institute. IDOL director Kandarpa Das admitted having written her off earlier.

“We didn’t think she had it in her, not at 70-plus. She proved us wrong and demonstrated what the human spirit can achieve,” he said.

The septuagenarian mother of three sons admitted boredom after her husband’s death in 2003 had driven her to books. Studying rekindled her desire for the post-graduation she was forced to abandon in 1969 due to domestic pressure.

She now wants to pursue PhD. “My topic for doctorate is suppression of Brahmin widows in the villages of Assam,” she said.

In October last year centurion Bholaram Das applied for a PhD at Gauhati University’s Sanskrit department.