the great debate


In a performance that lasted a whole of 10 mins, Akshay Labroo and Nikhil Saha of Ramjas College delivered speeches that made them the winners of a one-week sponsored tour in the UK, which includes visits to historical sites, academic institutions, cultural events along with peer group interactions. The Great Debate, organised by the Delhi University in collaboration with The British High Commission  was witness to  participation of 46 teams of the 54 that registered.

In an interactive session on 8th January,2014 at the the British High Commission, Paul Rennie, Head of Political and Bilateral Affairs released the motions for the debate to the participants while , the coordinators of the debate Ms. Suchitra Gupta and Ms. Sumitra Mohanty explained the rules and regulations . Present at the event was Ms. Priti Patel, Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom who encouraged the participants to visit the country.


The debate was divided into two rounds with the first being held on the morning of 9th Jan, 2014 and the final at 3 pm at the Viceregal Lodge, University of Delhi. The five teams that made it to the finals were Dayal Singh Collge, Janki Devi College, Miranda House, Ramjas College and Sri Venkateshwara College. The teams debated on the motion, “This house believes that it is the best time to be young” and were  judged by a panel of eminent judges including Ms. Ktty Tawakley, Deputy Head Press and Communications and Mr.Stephen King,General Manager Virgin Atlantic which had partnered with The British High Commission to sponsor this debate.

The Vice Chancellor Mr. Dinesh Singh and Sir James Bevan, UK High Commissioner joined the participants a little later in the session. In his speech ,Sir James Bevan listed the top ten reasons on why an Indian student must choose UK as the place to continue their studies over its other competitors. As for the amount that goes into sponsoring a UK education he said, “Studying in the UK is not cheap. But in life you get what you pay for,quality costs money and the cost of a UK education is possibly the best single investment you can make in your own future”. In his speech the Vice Chancellor regaled the the history of debating in India with the example of Mahatma Gandhi and stressed on the importance of form and matter in a debate.


While everybody enjoyed the debate and the opportunity it presented,the participants were made to wait a long time before the declaration of the results of the preliminary round. At the feedback session, the coordinators were suggested to have an award or recognition for not just teams but also speakers individually, which they promised to include in the next season of this debate.The organisation of the programme under Pradyumna Bora was well performed and managed to resolve issues of late participants and disqualification of a team timely.

imagecourtesy: British High Commision

For more photos visit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukinindia/sets/72157639548562095/

For the transcript of Sir James Bevan’s speech :https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/uk-education-the-best-for-the-brightest–2