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Swearing by ACFA, this mother-daughter duo has topped the same examination decades apart



It was 1995 when Sonia Kumra decided to choose cosmetology for her post-graduate diploma from the Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA), Jalandhar. Shortly after the completion of her course, Kumra got an opportunity to become a lecturer at the university.

While she was learning about personal care, yoga, and grooming during her course, she bagged the first position at the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) examinations. “Back in the day I used to attend college regularly and try never to miss any class. I repeated all my lessons as I got home,” says Kumra.

More than two decades later, Kumra’s daughter, Raina Talwar, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), semester-III student at ACFA, also secured the first position at the GNDU examinations. Inspired by her mother, Talwar maintains that the greatest virtue she has learnt from her is to push boundaries and be ambitious. Talwar aims to reduce the gender gap at the workplace and dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. “My preparation strategy included creating a study plan and focusing on conceptual clarity. After five years, I would want to be successful at my own venture,” she says.

Reminiscing about how education has changed over the years, Kumra recalls having to do everything methodologically due to the lack of internet. “Learning has become more accessible now, chalk boards have been replaced with smart screens. Teachers these days promote greater experiential and project-based learning. In my days, things were different.”

Decades apart, both mother and daughter agree learning a lot at ACFA. “It was a preferred choice for my daughter and it feels like history is repeating itself,” says Kumra. When asked what she thinks is her daughter’s best quality, she cites passion. Talwar, in return, would like to imbibe her mother’s patience and confidence.   

 “I congratulate Raina Talwar and exhort her to keep up her hard work and strenuous efforts to reap rich harvests in future. My best wishes to Raina’s mother, Sonia Kumra, who, too, had done the institution proud. I feel content about ACFA’s role in carrying forward its commitment to provide quality education with global standards to generations of aspirants to shape their future.”

-Dr. Neerja Dhingra, Principal, ACFA, Jalandhar

Mrini Devnani is a Principal Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, conducts interviews, and contributes content to the website. Previously, she served as a Correspondent specialising in Edu-tech for the India Today Group. Her skill areas extend to Social Media and Digital Marketing. For any inquiries or correspondence, you can reach out to her at [email protected].