75-year-old Usha Chadaga, has completed her PhD amid the Covid-19 pandemic after retiring as the principal of a school in Kerala. She worked as the principal of Santhana Public School from where she retired 15 years ago. Thereafter she went to Udupi. During lockdown, she decided to join SMSP Sanskrit College from Karnataka State Open University, Mysuru, and a Vidwat with inspiration from Madhwa philosopher Bannanje Govindacharya.
Perhaps the only woman in the college at that time, she dedicated the four-and-a-half years of research work to Bannanje Govindacharya. “I’m Indebted to guru Vidwan Sagri Raghavendra Acharya. For subjects like these, we cannot depend on the internet. The lockdown came as a blessing as I could devote more time to this work,” she told News18.com.
Dr Usha Chandhaga was awarded the PhD degree for her research on ‘Essential evaluation of Sri Madhwacharya’s distinctive doctrines of ‘Jeevaswabhava vaada’ and ‘Sarvashabda Vachyatva of Vishnu’. On the 40th convocation of Mangalore College, held on April 16, she received the degree.
“Aside from dignitaries current through the convocation, my household, together with my grandchildren, are rejoicing to my success,” said she.
Her doctoral information was Dr M Padmanabha Marathe, director Sri Durga Centre of PG Research and Analysis in Sanskrit, Kateel. It is only in recent times that women candidates are learning Vedic topics in Sanskrit.