International Inter-School Debate Competition – 2021 was organised by Alliance School of Law from 19 April to 23 April. The Debate Competition witnessed a participation of 200 students from 66 schools across India and abroad. With a statistic of 72 students from 19 international schools and 120 students from 47 national schools participating, the debate competition observed a diverse exchange of opinions.
It was modelled on a holistic discussion based on pertinent topics and helped student participants put their cognition on the contemporary socio-legal issues faced by millennials.
The topics for preliminary rounds were:
- Social Media – Is it a Bane or a Boon
- Banning Violent Video Games
- Climate Change Vs. Industrialization
- Brain Train or Brain Drain
- Age of Majority must be reduced from 18 to 16
The competition started with qualifying rounds for schools where each participant had to undergo preliminary rounds to reach the semi-finals. Among the participating students only four participants namely Johan Varghese Sajan, Fahaheel Al Wataniah Indian Private School; Aneira Pereira, Our Own English High School Girl Sharjah, UAE; Shreya Patil, Orchid School, Pune; and Simar Singh, The Lawrence School, Sanawar, qualified for the grand finale.
The Grand Finale began with an introduction to the respected jury invited from the industry and the corporates consisting of Mr. Nirmal Paramban, Sr. Associate Vice President at EXL; Ms. Tanvi Thacker, Head- Employee Benefits at Infosys; and Mr. Thaj Mathew, General Counsel (Global) India, Europe, LATAM at Honeywell Technology Solutions.
The grand finale commenced with the formation of two groups of four participants facing each other in teams against and for the motion with the respect to the given topic and a time bound of twenty minutes each. The best two participants Aneira Pereira, Our Own English High School Girl Sharjah, UAE and Shreya Patil, Orchid School, Pune, among the two groups were selected as the finalists for the grand finale to debate for the big ultimate fight for twenty minutes on women empowerment. It is inly incidental that at Alliance, most of the senior leaders are women and we for sure are moving in the direction of empowering people, sans their gender.
Following the debate between the finalists, the esteemed jury shared their experiences and insights about the event reminiscing the memories of their student life. They also spoke in high volumes about the levels of awareness on the debated issues showcased by the young participants in the debate competition.
The valedictory ceremony began with a welcome note from Dr. Ray Titus, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Research, Alliance University stressing upon the importance of fostering contemplating and deliberation skills among students aspiring to become the shining source of excellence and a beacon of hope for a glorious future ahead.
Dr. Ray brought up a percept from the speeches of Brutus and Marc Antony on a funeral oration for Julius Caesar of the Roman era to support an example of Logos, Ethos and Pathos in validating the arguments in a speech or a debate. Dr. Ray also encouraged for such competitions to be carried along with a tradition of setting a higher benchmark of qualitative contributions in the promotion of a constructive and holistic development for the students.
Dr. Anubha, Vice-Chancellor, Alliance University delivered a special message of congratulations to participants, colleagues and event coordinators. Dr. Anubha made a special mention of participating students reminiscing of her old school days and also shared an example from the life of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of America, on accounts of his eagerness to listen to the speeches and construct a culture of speaking and debating in him to become the most famous speaker that America had ever witnessed. Dr. Anubha concluded with a note of gratitude to everyone for making the competition a great success.
Mr. Mansvi Thapar, Founder - Candour Legal, as a chief guest acknowledged the efforts of Alliance University in promoting a culture of learning among young aspirants.
Mr. Mansvi spoke about the rich cultural, demographic and natural heritage of India. The richness of education in the country from time immemorial.
He stressed upon the importance of communication in constructing a society for progressive path to reach the zenith of our civilisational advance and standout as a uniquely united and inclusive country.
Mr. Abhay G. Chebbi, Pro Chancellor, Alliance University began with a note of gratitude and welcomed the members of jury, members of valedictory ceremony and the participating schools. Mr. Abhay declared the winners of the debate with a note of congratulations.
The winner was decided by the jury with a unanimous decision, Aneira Pereira from Our Own English High School Girl Sharjah, UAE was declared the winner and was presented a cheque of one lakh rupees along with Shreya Patil from Orchid School, Pune who was declared as the runner-up and was presented a cheque of fifty thousand rupees by Mr. Abhay G. Chebbi.
The ceremony concluded on a great note with amazing comments and reviews from all participants. At the end of the conference, Dr. Kiran Gardner presented her note of gratitude to all the school principals and participants in bringing this debate competition live to the aspiration of its true essence.