Aligarh: Mangalayatan University here Saturday conferred honorary degrees to 11 eminent people including badminton star Saina Nehwal who said she coveted it more than even the London Olympic medal.
Others who were honoured included environmentalist Rajendra Pachauri, boxer Mary Kom and shooter Gagan Narang.
Saina thanked the privately-owned Mangalayatan University.
"It has more worth than the Olympic medal. My father always dreamt that I should complete my education," she said.
"But preparation for Olympics never permitted me. Now Mangalayatan University has fulfilled my dream," she said.
Wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt thanked the university for turning them "khiladi to doctor".
The university also gave away 715 graduate and post-graduate degrees to the students.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav paid rich compliments to Indian sportspersons.
Praising Saina in particular, and speaking in a lighter vein, he asked the ace badminton player to contest the next Lok sabha elections from Aligarh.
He asked what would be the electoral result if the badminton player were to contest an election from Aligarh.
The mass of students responded with claps.