Retired weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari has been appointed as the first vice-chancellor of the Delhi Sports University set up by the Delhi government last year. Karnam Malleswari, is the first woman to win a medal for India at the Olympics.
The state cabinet in October 2019 passed an order setting up the university in Mundka area of Delhi. The university will offer field-specific degrees to interested students that will be at par with those offered in other courses at the graduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels. The University plans to confer degrees up to the PhD level, and students will be conferred degrees based on their sporting performance. The varsity will also streamline sports facilities and bring talented sportspersons under their ambit to prepare them for national and international competitions. “Our purpose to establish the Delhi Sports University is to build and create athletes in our country who will make our nation proud,” said Sisodia as he announced Malleswari’s appointment.
First female Olympic medalist of India @kmmalleswari ji will be the 1st Vice Chancellor of Delhi Govt's Sports University.
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) June 23, 2021
Sharing her vision for the university, Malleswari said university officials will start visiting schools as soon as they reopen, to scout for talent. The university plans to use existing infrastructure and coaches to identify athletic acumen in students.
“Many have a keen interest in sports, but are unable to pursue their athletic dream due to a lack of infrastructure. We will identify students and match their athletic skills to the sports they are apt for,” she said.
In her sporting career, Malleswari lifted 110 kg in the “snatch” and 130 kg in the “clean and jerk” categories for a total of 240 kg at the 2000 Sydney Olympics,. She won the bronze medal and became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. Even before her Olympic win, Malleswari was a two-time weightlifting world champion with 29 international medals, which includes 11 gold medals. Along with the national and international medals, Malleswari was also awarded with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1999, Arjuna Award in 1994, and Padma Shri in 1999.